On July 17, 2002, about 0800 eastern daylight time, an Aero Commander, (formerly Ayers) S2R, N8943Q, registered to Middle Georgia Aviation, Inc., operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 137 aerial application flight, crashed in the vicinity of Cochran, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft received substantial damage, and the commercially-rated pilot, the sole occupant aboard, was not injured. The flight departed the Cochran Airport about 0715.

According to the pilot, shortly after he began spraying cotton, during his pull-up, he heard a "bang" and his engine started backfiring and running erratically. The engine would not produce enough power to sustain flight, and he elected to perform an emergency landing in an adjacent cotton field. The right wing struck a tree on the edge of the field, resulting in a sideward slide that collapsed the landing gear.

According to an FAA inspector, the aircraft sustained substantial damage to the right wing and landing gear as a result of the collision with the tree during the emergency landing. Examination of the engine revealed that a crack in the magneto casing caused the erratic operation and backfiring that would result in a loss of power.

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