FTW03LA004
FTW03LA004

On October 2, 2002, at 1430 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-400, agricultural airplane, N155HF, sustained substantial damage following a loss of control during an aerial application flight near Marmaduke, Arkansas. The airplane was owned and operated by Kuntz Aviation of Carthage, Mississippi, under Code of Federal Regulations Part 137. The commercial pilot, sole occupant, received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated at an unknown time.

The pilot and local authorities reported that the winds were "strong" from the southwest. During the aerial application entry to the cotton field a gust of wind struck the airplane and the airplane struck the ground. Subsequently, the airplane skidded approximately 39 feet, the left main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane skidded an additional 366 feet before coming to rest upright in the cotton field. The empennage separated from the airframe and the left wing was damaged.

On the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Form (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) the operator reported that two fields were being sprayed from east to the west with a set of power lines running north and south between the fields. The pilot would fly the airplane over the power lines and then descend to spray the field. During the accident swath descent to spray the field, the airplane struck the ground.

At 1453, the weather observation facility at Jonesboro, Arkansas, located approximately 22 nautical miles southwest of the accident site, reported the wind from 250 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, few clouds at 4,000 feet agl and a broken ceiling at 5,500 feet agl, temperature 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit), dew point 22 degrees Celsius (71 degrees Fahrenheit), and an altimeter setting of 30.01 inches of Mercury. Towering cumulus clouds were reported in all quadrants.


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