Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Air Tractor AT-502B, N51990, Farmers Spraying Service Inc: Accident occurred April 22, 2014 in Garfield, Pawnee County, Kansas

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA211 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Garfield, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/11/2015
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B, registration: N51990
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was preparing to spray a hay field when the airplane collided with the top set of power lines that were about 60 feet tall and impacted the ground. The operator said that this was the pilot’s first time spraying this field and that the pilot was not familiar with the field or the surrounding obstacles. The operator reported that a stand of trees was opposite the power lines and that it was difficult to see the top wires as you approached the field because “they would get lost in the trees.” Postaccident examination of the airplane and engine revealed no pre-impact mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation prior to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s inadequate preflight planning and subsequent failure to remain clear of power lines while maneuvering low to the ground.

On April 22, 2014, about 1310 central daylight time, N51990, an Air Tractor 502B, was destroyed when it collided with power lines then terrain while spraying a hay field in Garfield. Kansas. The airline transport rated pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Farmer's Spraying Service Incorporated, Pratt, Kansas, and operated by Gross Flying Service, Pratt, Kansas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the aerial spraying flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137.

A witness stated that he had hired the operator to spray his hay field for weevils. He heard the airplane circle over his field twice then looked out the window where he saw the airplane start its first pass from south to north. The witness then saw a puff of smoke when the airplane struck a set of power lines (about 60 feet tall) that ran east and west along the southern edge of the field. The airplane descended behind a tree line and the witness no longer heard or saw the airplane. He then drove toward where he last saw the airplane and discovered that it had crashed on a dirt road east of the field and called 911. There was no post-impact fire.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector responded to the accident site and said the airplane struck the two very top wires to a set of power lines, which were 3/8-inch-wide steel, static cables. The wires sat about 5 feet below the top of the poles, about 55-feet-above the ground. The airplane crossed over a set of trees before it collided with terrain about 275 feet north of the power lines on a dirt road then traveled about another 145 feet to where it came to rest. There was no evidence the airplane struck the trees; however part of the airplane did impact a large haystack adjacent to the road. The landing gear came to rest about 130 feet forward of where the airplane came to rest. Examination of the airplane revealed wire strike marks on the propeller blades and main landing gear. The pilot remained strapped into the 5-point restraint system and was wearing a helmet with a glare shield.

According to the operator, he stated that he normally handles all of his own spraying jobs, but during busy times he hired the pilot to help him. He said that he and the pilot had four loads to spray on the day of the accident and the accident occurred on the fourth load. He and the pilot discussed breaking for lunch after the third load, but they were excited about "making money" and decided to finish the job. Plus, the wind was picking up out of the south-southeast about 17-18 miles per hour (mph) and they wanted the last field sprayed before it got too windy. The operator added that the previous flights were normal and both airplanes were operating fine. The pilot was in a good mood, not tired, and happy to be flying.

The operator put about 300 gallons of chemicals in the pilot's airplane and then refueled it with fuel from his own fuel-storage tank. The operator did the same with his airplane then they both departed for their respective fields. The operator didn't learn that the pilot had crashed until after he landed.

The operator said that he has sprayed the field where the pilot had crashed numerous times. However, the pilot was not familiar with the field or the surrounding obstacles. The operator described the power lines that the pilot struck as "H Poles." At the very top of the poles were two high-tension ground wires that were "very taught." Below these lines were the power lines that carried electricity. The operator said these lines had a lot of slack in them and sagged "quite a bit". They were also a lot darker than the ground wires and much easier to see. The operator said there was a stand of trees on the opposite side of the street where the power lines were located and it was really difficult to see the top ground wires as you approached the field because "they would get lost in the trees."

The operator also thought that the pilot was most likely setting up his "A and B" lines along the haystack via the onboard GPS when he struck the power lines. The next pass would have been the first spray pass.

The airplane and engine (including the propeller) were examined on June 10, 2014, under the supervision of the National Transportation Safety Board Investigator-in-Charge (NTSB IIC). Examination of the airplane revealed that it had sustained extensive impact damage to the fuselage, wings, and tail section. Flight control continuity was established for all major flight controls to the cockpit. An after-market airbag system was installed on both the left and right shoulder harnesses. Both airbags were out of their respective housing and deflated, indicative that the airbags had deployed upon impact with the ground. No mechanical deficiencies were noted with the airplane or the restraint/airbag systems.

The turbine engine sustained extensive impact damage and was separated in three major sections. Internal examination of the engine revealed deep rotational scoring consistent with it operating at the time of impact. No mechanical anomalies were noted that would have precluded the engine from operating at the time of impact.

The 3-bladed propeller had separated from the engine during impact and all three blades remained in the hub and were loose. One of the blade's tip was missing and never recovered. The fractured end of the blade was curled aft and exhibited 45 degree shearing. The second blade was relatively straight and exhibited rotational scoring on the front of the blade near the tip. The third blade was relatively straight and also exhibited front face rotational scoring near the tip. This damage was consistent with the propeller turning at the time of impact. No mechanical anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal operation of the propeller at the time of impact.

A visit to the accident site revealed that the two top, high-tension cables struck by the airplane had been re-installed by the utility company. It was evident that these top cables were more difficult to see than the lower set of cables, which were much darker in color.


http://registry.faa.gov/N51990

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA211 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Garfield, KS
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B, registration: N51990
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 22, 2014, about 1330 central daylight time, N51990, an Air Tractor 502B, was destroyed when it collided with power lines then terrain while spraying a hay field in Garfield. Kansas. The airline transport rated pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Farmer's Spraying Service Incorporated, Pratt, Kansas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the aerial spraying flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137.

A witness stated that he had hired the pilot to spray his hay field for weevils. He was standing in his home looking out a window when he saw the airplane start its first pass from south to north. The witness then saw a puff of smoke when the airplane struck a set power lines that ran east and west along the field. The airplane descended behind a tree line and the witness immediately called 911. The witness then drove toward where he last saw the airplane and discovered that it had impacted a road. There was no post-impact fire.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector responded to the accident site and said the airplane struck the very top wire to the power line, which was a 3-inch-wide static cable.




Don Cates



 

GARFIELD, Kansas - The Kansas Highway Patrol says a county commissioner from western Kansas died when his plane crashed while he was crop dusting. 

The patrol says 67-year-old Don Cates, a Barton County commissioner from Claflin, died Tuesday afternoon when his ultralight, single-engine plane hit a power line and crashed into a ditch just northwest of Garfield in Pawnee County.

Cates was the only person on board.

Cates was serving as a pilot for Pratt’s Farmers Spraying Service at the time of the crash.

Cates was a pilot in Vietnam and was awarded several military honors. He then flew for 34 years as a commercial pilot before reaching the mandatory retirement age.

He worked several jobs after that and was flying for Pratt’s Farmers Spraying Service when he crashed.

Story and comments/reaction:  http://ksn.com


GARFIELD — Barton County Commissioner Don Cates, a decorated military hero, died tragically doing what he loved — flying.  

Cates was flying a aerial spraying plane near G Road and 210th Ave. several miles northwest of Garfield in Pawnee County when it crashed Tuesday afternoon after hitting some power lines. Cates flew for Pratt’s Farmers Spraying Service.

Pawnee County Sheriff Scott King said deputies secured the scene for the Kansas Highway Patrol. Larned EMS and first responders from Garfield and Larned assisted at the crash site.

During his 34 years as an airline pilot, Cates flew more than one billion airline seat miles without injury or damage to a person or airplane.

“He will certainly be missed, both on a personal level and on a professional level,” said Barton County Administrator Richard Boeckman.

Boeckman called Cates a friend as well as a colleague, someone who was sincere and willing to work hard for county residents.

“He truly had the interest of Barton County at heart,” Boeckman said. “He was a conscientious, well-prepared commissioner.”

The commission will next meet at 9 a.m. Monday at the Barton County Courthouse, 1400 Main in Great Bend.

Cates has a history of serving the public, beginning as a helicopter gunship pilot in Vietnam, where he flew more than 1,000 combat hours. He served in active duty from 1966 to 1972, with his last assignment in Korea as a VIP pilot.  He was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Air Medal for Valor, Air Medal with Forty-Two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army commendation Medal and the Purple Heart. He then was staff aviation officer for the U.S. Army National Guard from 1974-76.

After the military, Cates worked as a career pilot for Air MidWest, Braniff Airlines and Midwest Airlines until mandatory commercial pilot retirement age of 60.


He worked in various capacities including chief pilot, director of training, and at his last airline job, as Skyway Airlines director of operations. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration with a minor in political science from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

He was first elected as a Barton County commissioner in 2010. Claflin’s Cates served the Commission’s Fourth District, which includes Ellinwood, Claflin, and the South Bend, Comanche, Lakin, Logan and Independent Townships.

“An old friend once told me, The hardest part of being great is staying great. My goal is to help keep Barton County a great place to live and work,” Cates said. “I have always admired people willing to give time and effort to public service that helps the community. It is an opportunity to do my part.”

The 94 store owner in Claflin had strong ties. As the son of Vivan and Thelma Cates, he moved to Red Wing in 1951 from Cushing, Okla. with his parents at the age of 5. The family moved to Claflin in 1954 and he graduated from Claflin High School in 1964.

Cates married his wife, Ginger Krug, in 1965 while attending Pratt Community College on a football scholarship. They celebrated their 45th anniversary in 2013. They have three daughters, four grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Cates moved back to Claflin in 1996 and purchased Cates Service & Supply from Don’s father in 1999. Don changed the name of the business to The 94 Store, based upon the original telephone number of the business, which was #94. In 2008, the auto parts area was converted into a cafe, that served breakfast and lunch.

Cates also enjoyed auto racing, RVing and boating.


Source:   http://www.gbtribune.com



Cessna 177B Cardinal, N110PF, Flying Club of Kansas City: Incident occurred April 22, 2014 in Gardner, Miami County, Kansas

AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED IN A FIELD, NEAR OLATHE, KS 

http://www.asias.faa.gov

http://registry.faa.gov/N110PF

http://www.flyingclubkansascity.org
 
MIAMI COUNTY, Kan. - **UPDATE, 7:33 P.M.: The pilot is said to be uninjured after an engine failure.

**UPDATE, 7:05 P.M.:

Crews have found the plane just west of Gardner Road and 223rd Street. Police are now calling it a non-injury incident.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A single-engine plane has reportedly gone down in Miami County, about six-miles south of New Century Airport.

One person is reported to be on the aircraft. Their injuries are said to be minor.


Source:  http://www.kshb.com

MIAMI COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -   A single-engine plane had to make an emergency landing in a Miami County field Tuesday evening.

The incident happened shortly before 7 p.m.

Johnson County sheriff's deputies are en route to the scene, but the plane landed about six miles south of the New Century Airport in the area of 223rd Street and Gardner Road near Hayden Farm Airport.

The initial reports indicate there are no injuries.


Source:   http://www.kctv5.com 

Single-engine plane makes emergency landing near New Century Airport 

GARDNER, KAN. ----- One person suffered minor injuries after a single-engine plane made an emergency landing about five miles south of New Century Airport.

The plane was discovered west of Gardner Road on 223rd Street in Miami County, Kansas.

The pilot on the plane, the only individual was on board, reported mechanical issues and was able to bring the plane down safely before it crashed.

MORE INFORMATION WHEN AVAILABLE