FTW04CA246
FTW04CA246

On September 28, 2004, at 0900 central daylight time, a Grumman G-164A single-engine agricultural biplane, registered to a private individual and operated by The Airport, of Gilbert, Louisiana, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Gilbert, Louisiana. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. The local flight originated from a private airstrip near Gilbert, Louisiana, at 0830.

The 11,000-hour pilot reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) that after he performed a preflight inspection on the airplane, he conducted a 45-minute aerial application flight. After reloading the hopper with a chemical load, he departed the private airstrip to commence a second aerial application on a nearby field. During the aerial application flight, the "engine began running rough," and the pilot initiated a turn back toward the airport while "attempting to gain altitude." At an altitude of approximately 200 feet above ground level and approximately 1/2 mile from the runway, the engine "shuttered violently and quit." The pilot initiated a forced landing to a nearby pasture. During the landing roll, the airplane impacted a fence, crossed two ditches, a road, impacted a second fence, crossed another pasture, and impacted a third fence before coming to rest upright in a plowed field.

Examination of the airplane by an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, who responded to the site of the accident, revealed the lower right wing was separated from the fuselage. The upper wing was completely separated from its mount. Examination of the Pratt and Whitney R-1340 radial engine revealed a piston connecting rod was separated from the piston.

The operator reported that at the time of the accident, the engine had accumulated 462 hours since the last major overhaul, and 300 hours since the last annual inspection.

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