On June 19, 1997, at 0630 central daylight time, a Grumman-Schweizer G-164B, agricultural airplane, N3632S, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following the loss of engine power, while maneuvering near Hazen, Arkansas. The non-instrument rated commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was operated by Hazen Flying Service, Inc., of Hazen, Arkansas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 137 aerial application flight for which a flight plan was not filed. The local flight originated from the Hazen Municipal Airport at 0600. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The 9,500 hour pilot reported that he departed the Hazen Airport to chemically treat nearby rice fields. He stated that "everything went normally as he flew over the field". He added that, upon pulling up after the last aerial application pass, the aircraft experienced a loss of engine power. During the pilot's attempt to get the turbine powered biplane to an open field for a forced landing, the aircraft "ran out of altitude and airspeed and landed in the trees".
During the ensuing forced landing, the airplane impacted in a heavily wooded area, coming to rest amidst trees approximately 20 feet above the ground in a 60 degree right wing low attitude.
Examination of the wreckage by an FAA inspector revealed that all 4 wings sustained structural damage. The propeller spinner did not show any evidence of rotational damage. A 7-inch portion from one of the propeller tips was found approximately 300 yards from the wreckage's resting place. The Hartzell 3-bladed propeller, model HC-B3TN-3D, serial number BUA19065 was installed new on the airplane on October 5, 1994.
According the information found in the aircraft maintenance records, the 550 horsepower Pratt & Whitney PT6A-28 turbine engine (serial number PCE52208), had accumulated a total of 5,510 hours, with 2,051 hours since its last overhaul. The engine was last inspected 141 hours prior to the accident.
The fractured propeller tip was shipped to the NTSB Materiel Laboratories for metallurgical evaluation and examination. The metallurgical examination of the fracture revealed "features typical of an overstress sheer separation." The report (copy enclosed) further states that "no evidence of fatigue cracking or other type of preexisting fracture areas was noted."