This July 2008 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Grumman Ag Cat. Injuries: None. Location: Stotesbury, Mo. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: About one hour after takeoff the engine lost power. The pilot could not maintain level flight, so he elected to land in a corn field. During landing the main landing gear collapsed. The pilot escaped the airplane before it burst into flames. An examination of the engine revealed that the partial loss of power was due to a fracture in the number eight cylinder barrel, below the spark plug holes.
Probable cause: Fracture of the engine’s number eight cylinder barrel, resulting in a loss of engine power.
For more information: NTSB.gov