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The pilot was spraying a pine forest in hilly country. The spray runs were made in the downhill direction only, which required a low power setting during application. When the pilot applied power at the end of a particular run, engine roughness was noticed. He attempted to return to the DEPARTURE aerodrome, but the engine performance deteriorated to the point where a precautionary landing became necessary. The only suitable area was a short stretch of road, and the pilot was forced to apply heavy braking after touchdown. The tail lifted, allowing the propeller to strike the ground, and the aircraft overturned. Investigation established that the head had separated from one of the cylinders, as a result of fatigue cracking. No abnormalities were found in the casting material of the cylinder which might have explained the onset of the fatigue. It was possible that the cracking resulted from damage caused by excessive manifold pressure and/or cylinder head temperatures applied during previous operations.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 20 August 1987 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1410  
Location:10 km E of Corryong Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria  
Release date: 27 January 1988  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Air Tractor Inc 
Aircraft model: AT301 
Aircraft registration: VH-JFA 
Serial number: 301-0622 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Corryong VIC
Departure time:1410
Destination:Corryong VIC
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