On November 9, 1996, at 1430 hours Pacific standard time, an Air Tractor AT-401, N1014N, collided with the lip of an irrigation canal during the takeoff initial climb from a private agricultural airstrip near Calexico, California. The aircraft was owned and operated by Frontier Agricultural Service, Inc., of Calexico, and was beginning a local area aerial application flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft incurred substantial damage. The certificated commercial pilot was not injured. The flight was originating at the time of the occurrence.

The pilot reported that after liftoff, the aircraft settled back to the surface and the main landing gear contacted the far edge of an irrigation canal bank at the runway's departure end.

The temperature was 88 degrees Fahrenheit at the time the accident occurred and the density altitude was computed to be 1,894 feet msl.

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