CHI99LA268
CHI99LA268

On July 30, 1999, at 1900 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-401B, N61775, operated by Brian Agricultural Aviation, Pekin, Illinois, nosed over following a loss of engine power during takeoff from the Chiquita Food Processing Airstrip (2,300' x 80', grass) in Edelstein, Illinois. The commercial pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The 14 CFR Part 137 agricultural flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported the airplane was refueled prior to takeoff with approximately 45 gallons of fuel, bringing the total on board to 75 gallons. In addition, the airplane was loaded with 240 gallons of water/fungicide. The pilot reported that everything appeared "normal" when the airplane lifted off. He continued to report, "For reasons unknown the aircraft lost power, entered the corn at the end of the airstrip, and came to rest upside down."

The post accident inspection of the airplane was conducted by inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration Springfield, Illinois, Flight Standards District Office. The inspector reported that there was less than one ounce of fuel remaining in the airplane. The fuel tanks were not compromised during the accident. He reported that although the airplane had nosed over, there was no indication of fuel leakage around the accident site. Another inspector reported the operator used a private fuel supply to refuel the airplane and there were no fueling records available.

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