On September 30, 1997, about 1330 central daylight time, a Cessna A188B, N731RP, registered to the Dixie Dusters, Inc., was destroyed by a postcrash fire during takeoff from a private grass airstrip located about 3 miles north of the Greenwood-Leflore Airport, Greenwood, Mississippi. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 137 aerial application flight. The commercial-rated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot stated that he had flown out of the accident airstrip for the past 5 years and was aware of a rough spot on the runway located about 1/2 way down the approximate 2,600-foot runway. During the takeoff roll the airplane began bouncing after encountering the rough spot. The pilot then began dumping the load of chemical and the airplane began to climb, but collided with a small tree at the departure end of the runway. The airplane then yawed to the left and while descending, impacted the ground then came to rest inverted. While exiting the airplane he noted a fire and was pushed away from the airplane by an explosion. The airplane was destroyed by the postcrash fire and the pilot reported that there was no mechanical failure or malfunction.

Examination of the runway by an FAA inspector revealed that about 2,000 feet down the runway, a noticeable rise was detected. Also, damage to a tree was noted and impact with the ground was noted about 200 feet from the departure end of the runway. The right main landing gear was observed to be separated after contact with a ditch. The pilot stated to the FAA inspector that he and the owner were planning on correcting the runway and tree problem at the end of the spraying season in the fall.

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