On June 18, 1997, at 1000 central daylight time, a Rockwell S-2R agricultural airplane, N4859X, registered to and operated by a private owner, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power on takeoff from the Pond Creek Municipal Airport, Pond Creek, Oklahoma. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 137 flight. A flight plan was not filed for the local, aerial application flight that was originating at the time of the accident.

In the enclosed Pilot/Operator Report, the pilot stated that during the takeoff initial climb, approximately 30 feet AGL, the engine lost power, and the airplane "crashed" in a wheat field about 1000 feet from the departure end of runway 17. During a telephone interview conducted by the NTSB investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that the engine "spooled down," and he pulled back on the control stick and intentionally "stalled" the airplane into the wheat field. He further reported that he elected to make a full stall landing in order to prevent the airplane from nosing over on the soft ground. According to the pilot, the hard landing resulted in the collapse of both main landing gear and structural damage to the aft fuselage.

On July 9, 1997, the engine, a Garrett TPE331-1-151A, S/N P92234, was disassembled at Intercontinental Jet, Inc., in Tulsa, Oklahoma, under the supervision of a FAA inspector. A report (copy attached) prepared by Intercontinental Jet's Chief Inspector indicated that the "engine displayed no obvious defects that would have caused it to stop running."

On July 29, 1997, the propeller, a Hartzell HC-B3TN-5G/T10282N, S/N BV-3015, was disassembled at Hartzell Propeller, Inc., in Piqua, Ohio, under the supervision of an FAA inspector. As noted in the attached "Propeller Teardown Report" prepared by Hartzell, all three blades "displayed a smooth rearward directed bend (towards the face side)." The blades displayed "minimal leading edge damage" and "no notable impact related twist." According to the FAA inspector, examination of the propeller revealed no pre-impact discrepancies which would have precluded normal propeller operation.

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