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N9184T accident description

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Crash location 35.796666°N, 90.083889°W
Nearest city Dell, AR
35.855352°N, 90.041757°W
4.7 miles away
Tail number N9184T
Accident date 16 Jun 2014
Aircraft type Air Tractor Inc At 502
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On June 16, 2014, about 1130 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT 502 airplane, N9184T, impacted terrain after departing a private strip near Dell, Arkansas. The pilot received minor injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by Simpson Air Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot, the airplane's hopper was almost completely loaded with dry fertilizer material and the takeoff weight was 7,918.83 pounds (lbs); the airplane's maximum gross weight was 8,000 lbs. After the fertilizer was loaded he attempted to depart to the west. The pilot advanced the throttle and continued down the runway. The airplane got onto the "step" and then began to climb when he felt the airplane decelerate. The airplane was no longer able to maintain a climb; the pilot lost control of the airplane and it cartwheeled into a field straight ahead where it came to rest upright. The empennage separated from the rear fuselage and the right wing was twisted aft and down. The pilot reported that he did not notice a change in the engine sound and was confident that the flight controls did not malfunction.

At 1155, the automated weather report at Blytheville, Arkansas, located 9 miles northeast, reported: wind from 170 degrees at 8 knots gusting to 15 knots, 10 miles visibility, few clouds at 3,800 feet, temperature 90 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 72 degrees F, and altimeter setting 30.11 inches of mercury. The density altitude was calculated to be 2,377 feet.

The power turbine section of the engine was replaced on June 6, 2014 by Covington Aircraft following a propeller strike incident about 1 week prior to the accident flight.

A postaccident examination of the engine and airframe revealed impact damage and no mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s failure to establish a proper airspeed during takeoff with the airplane near its maximum gross weight in high-density altitude and gusting crosswind conditions.

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