FTW96LA258
FTW96LA258

On June 18, 1996, approximately 1215 central daylight time, an Air Tractor 301A, N7319C, registered to and operated by a private owner, was destroyed following a forced landing after a loss of engine power while applying pesticides to a rice field in the vicinity of Hunter, Arkansas. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 CFR Part 137 aerial application flight. The flight originated from a private grass strip near the accident site.

Several witnesses in the area at the time of the accident reported they were observing the airplane as it was spraying a field. They stated that, they could not hear the engine running as the airplane began descending toward the ground. According to one of the witnesses, the engine was "trying to get its sound back" prior to the airplane impacting the ground in a right wing low attitude. The pilot stated that he did not recall any part of the accident event. An interview with one of the pilot's ground crew revealed that the aircraft was refueled (left wing tank only) prior to the flight. He also stated that the right wing fuel tank was not checked or refueled. According to the operator, the each wing fuel tank has a capacity of 60 gallons of usable fuel. The airplane commenced the flight at 1100, and was flying approximately 1 hour 15 minutes prior to the accident. Fuel tank integrity was compromised by impact damage.

The airplane was destroyed by impact forces, and a post accident engine run could not be performed.

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