On March 15, 1996, at 0950 central standard time, an Air Tractor AT-502, N4540C, operated by Garland Aviation, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Texarkana, Arkansas. The commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 CFR Part 137 aerial application flight.

In an interview with the Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the pilot reported that the engine lost power during an application run. He further reported that there was "not enough field left to land" and that the aircraft could not make it over the trees at the end of the field. The aircraft impacted the trees and came to a stop in a small field.

Examination of the aircraft by the FAA inspector revealed that the left wing was structurally damaged and the right wing was separated from the fuselage. Examination of the fuel system revealed a foreign substance in the main fuel filter. The fuel tank sump drain was leaking fuel and fuel was found in all fuel lines and the fuel control.

A post accident examination and teardown of the engine was completed on April 4, 1996. No anomalies were found that would prevent normal engine operation.

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