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The pilot was making night spraying runs over a cotton crop. During the third run at about 50 feet above ground level, the engine suddenly lost all power. The pilot attempted a landing at slow speed in a flooded cotton field. Almost immediately after touchdown, the aircraft nosed over and sank into the soft muddy surface. The pilot was able to extricate himself from the partly water-filled cockpit. The subsequent examination of the engine revealed massive internal damage. It was likely that one connecting rod had failed, and this led to similar failures in three other cylinders. The reason for the initial failure was not determined. The pilot had selected the most suitable area available for the forced landing. When the aircraft overturned, the fibreglass roof of the cockpit failed, and cut into the top of the pilot's helmet. Had the pilot not been wearing this protection, it was likely he would have suffered head injuries and probably drowned.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 20 February 1986 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1935 aprx  
Location:"Whitewoods", 65 km East Walgett Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales  
Release date: 03 October 1986  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Air Tractor Inc 
Aircraft model: AT301 
Aircraft registration: VH-FRC 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:"Whitewoods" NSW
Departure time:1935 aprx
Destination:"Whitewoods" NSW
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