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N91660 accident description

Arkansas map... Arkansas list
Crash location 35.066111°N, 90.582223°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Hughes, AR
34.949261°N, 90.471491°W
10.2 miles away
Tail number N91660
Accident date 20 May 2002
Aircraft type Air Tractor 402
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On May 20, 2002, approximately 0740 central daylight time, an Air Tractor 402 agricultural airplane, N91660, sustained substantial damage while landing at a private grass airstrip near Hughes, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Hutcherson Flying Service of Forrest City, Arkansas, under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the aerial application flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from another private airstrip near Blackfish, Arkansas, at 0720.

In the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the pilot reported that while spraying a field, he was having trouble with three spray nozzles. There were numerous crops in the area that were susceptible to the chemical he was applying, prompting him to land at an alternate airstrip to repair the leaking nozzles. The pilot reported that after touching down, the "tail wheel locking mechanism failed" and he felt the airplane "kick to the left, like something had come loose back there." The airplane's left spray boom became entangled in the adjacent wheat crop, pulling it off the left side of the airstrip. The airplane ground looped, and came to rest in an upright position. The pilot stated that a week prior to the accident, he noticed problems with the tail wheel locking mechanism. The tail wheel bushings and fork were replaced, but "this didn't cure the problem."

An FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, reported the left lower wing was damaged, the fuselage was twisted, and the rudder, elevator, and both horizontal and vertical stabilizers had sustained damage.

NTSB Probable Cause

the pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll. Contributing factors were the malfunction of the tail wheel locking mechanism and the high vegetation along the sides of the airstrip.

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