FTW96LA219
FTW96LA219

On May 18, 1996, at 1645 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-301, N4424S, operated by Ken's Flying Service as a Title 14 CFR Part 137 flight, was destroyed upon impact with terrain following a loss of control during a forced landing near Griffithville, Arkansas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local aerial application flight for which a flight plan was not filed. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The flight departed from a private dirt airstrip near Jasmine, Arkansas, about 10 minutes before the accident.

During a personal interview, conducted by the FAA inspector, the pilot reported that the engine oil pressure began to fluctuate. Subsequently, "oil pressure was lost" and the engine lost power. The pilot added that, during the descending left turn towards an open field, "the airspeed slowed." An uncontrolled descent ensued, the airplane rolled to the left, then to the right, prior to ground impact.

Physical evidence found at the accident site by the FAA inspector confirmed that the airplane impacted the ground nose low in a right turn. The FAA inspector reported that a general disintegration of the airplane occurred during the ground impact sequence. The engine was found separated from the airframe. Oil was found on the lower wing surfaces, with oil covering the underside of the airframe towards the empennage and tail. The source of the oil leak was not determined during the post-accident examination of the engine.

The operator provided a partially completed NTSB Form 6120.1/2 to the investigator-in-charge. The pilot could not be reached either telephonically or by mail for his input. The pilot's total flight time listed in the enclosed flight time matrix was obtained from the flight hours required by the FAA for a commercial pilot certificate. The pilot's flight time listed on his last flight physical examination on November 22, 1995, was 11 hours; however, according to FAA records, the pilot received his commercial certificate privileges on April 10, 1996.

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