The pilot stated that on the day of the accident he had sprayed 13 loads of fertilizer and was beginning the 14th load when the accident occurred.
He informed the loading crew to load 400 gallons of fertilizer, which was the same amount that he had used on the previous flights.
The pilot initiated the takeoff and the Ayres Corp. S2R T-34 became airborne, but was unable to gain enough altitude to clear the corn crop at the end of the airstrip in Wilmont, Ark.
The plane received substantial damage to the fuselage when it settled into the corn.
The pilot reported that after the accident, it was determined that the hopper had been filled with 480 gallons of fertilizer.
The pilot stated that since he cannot see how much fertilizer was loaded from his seat, he has to trust the loading crew to properly load the fertilizer.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to verify the amount of chemical load on the airplane prior to takeoff which resulted in the airplane being heavier than expected. Contributing to the accident was loading crew not following the pilot’s instructions.
NTSB Identification: CEN14CA283
This June 2014 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.