FTW04LA152
FTW04LA152

On June 5, 2004, approximately 1500 central daylight time, a WSK PZL Mielec M-18A, single-engine, tailwheel-equipped agricultural airplane, N161RA, registered to and operated by a private individual, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a loss of engine power after takeoff from a private grass airstrip, near Dumas, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 local aerial application flight.

According to the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the 16,200-hour pilot reported that he had flown for several hours prior to the accident with no problems. On the last takeoff, the airplane "seemed" to lose power when approximately 600 yards beyond the departure end of the runway; however, the gauges indicated that the engine was performing normally. The pilot stated that the airplane had plenty of fuel onboard. The right wing "clipped" a tree, and the airplane spun around, before coming to rest upright in a field.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, who responded to the accident site, revealed that the left landing gear, both wings, the tail, and propellers were sheared off the airplane. The inspector reported that an odor of fuel was present at the accident site; however, no fuel was found in the fuel tanks.

The automated surface observing station at Monticello Municipal Airport (LLQ), located 21 nautical miles southwest from the accident site, at 1453 reported the wind direction variable at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clouds scattered at 4,700 feet, temperature 31 degrees Celsius, dew point 18 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.01 inches of mercury.

The reason for the reported loss of engine power could not be determined.

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