Thursday, May 5, 2016

Aerial mosquito spraying resumes in St. Tammany following fatal plane crash: Beech 65-A90-1 King Air, St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement, N7MC, accident occurred April 19, 2016 at Slidell Airport (KASD), St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana

LACOMBE-  With spring-like weather at its peak, it's a challenge for Joanna Parr to wrangle her 19-month-old when outdoors.

But she's had to take on that feat because of mosquitos.

"It's hard with the little ones because they want to go outside and he can't go outside and play, we've got to bring him inside," she said, "He's getting lots of bites."

She said the increase in her Lacombe neighborhood has been noticeable over the past two weeks, when the parish spray plane has not been flying.

Mosquito Control says that's, on one hand, due to the loss of their large plane, and two esteemed pilots, in a heartbreaking crash.  But St. Tammany Mosquito Abatement Director Chuck Palmisano said it's mostly because, "The populations are not that high right now.  They're relatively low. But light traps indicated an increase in certain areas across the parish so we did conduct an aerial operation Tuesday night in south Slidell and also Lacombe. Tonight, we're going to go aerially in the Mandeville area."

Ground and preventative efforts haven't missed a beat though, and as the bug-riddled summer months creep closer, leaders have a plan to keep the aerial attack active.

"We're going to utilize this plane as much as we can, also, we've been talking with a couple of aerial spray contractors, looking to maybe engage their service at least until the time we get another airplane and put it in service," said Palmisano.

Even though Mosquito Control says its operation is on track, they still need the public to do their part.

Palmisano said, "Encouragement to survey your yards, see if you might have artificial things breeding mosquitos and if you're in a really mosquito prone area, use repellent."

The operations plan has Parr looking forward to fewer bite-filled afternoons outdoors.

Mosquito Control hopes to have its replacement plan purchased and in operation by the Fall.

Story and video: ST TAMMANY PARISH 


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Baton Rouge FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA158
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 19, 2016 in Slidell, LA
Aircraft: BEECH 65 A90 1, registration: N7MC
Injuries: 2 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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 19, 2016, about 2115 central daylight time, a Beech 65-A90-1 airplane, N7MC, collided with towers suspending high power transmission lines, while attempting to land at the Slidell Municipal Airport (KASD), Slidell, Louisiana. Both pilots were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Saint Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement District as a public use flight. Night visual meteorological condition prevailed for the flight, which operated on a visual flight rules flight plan. The local flight originated about 2000.

After completing a planned mosquito abatement aerial application flight, the accident pilots radioed their intentions to land at KASD. A company airplane was also in the area and flew the GPS approach to runway 18 for practice, while the accident airplane flew a visual pattern. When the pilots of the other company airplane radioed that they had crossed the GPS approach's final approach fix, the accident pilots radioed that they were on a left base and were number one to land at the airport. Seconds later, the company pilots of the other airplane saw an arc of electricity followed shortly by a plume of fire from the ground. The accident pilots could not be reached on the radio, and emergency responders were contacted.

The airplane was located in a marsh about 0.6 nautical miles north-northwest of approach end of runway 18. The initial point of impact was damage to two towers suspending high power transmission lines. These two towers were between 70-80 feet tall and were located 200 yards north of the main wreckage. The airplane's left wing tip and a portion of the aerial applicant tank were found near the towers.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

At 2053, an automated weather reporting facility located at KASD reported a calm wind, visibility 10 miles, a clear sky, temperature 68° F, dew point 64° F, and a barometric pressure of 30.09 inches.

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