CHI07CA259
CHI07CA259

The airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to a bean field while en route to the airport after an aerial application flight. The commercial pilot reported that he had finished spraying a field of soybeans and was ferrying the aircraft back to the airport when the "engine totally quit without any forewarning." He reported that he attempted a forced landing to a nearby highway, but the airplane lost too much altitude before reaching the highway and he executed a forced landing to a soybean field. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wingtip, the right wing root attachment, and the engine firewall.

The airplane wreckage was recovered from the bean field two weeks after the accident occurred. The airplane was in about a 20-degree, right wing low attitude. No fuel was found in the left fuel tank. The header fuel tank located between the left and right fuel tanks was found dry. The header tank's quick fuel drain was found crushed, but held open. About 10 gallons of fuel were found in the right fuel tank. No fuel blight was observed on the bean plants at the accident site.

The airplane's owner reported that the airplane was fueled prior to the accident flight, and that the left wing was full of fuel. He reported that the airplane should have had enough fuel for another 20 minutes of flight. He reported that the pilot sprayed the field using a "squeeze pattern." By using the squeeze pattern, the pilot sprayed the outside of the field first and worked his way to the center. By doing so, the airplane was constantly turning in the same direction. The owner reported that you can "sling all the fuel from one side to the other side," and that you can get air in the system.

The pilot reported that he had a total of 542 flight hours with 324 hours in make and model. He reported that he had flown 283 hours in the make and model within the last 90 days.

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