Monday, June 6, 2016

Air Tractor AT-502, N10325, operated by T-C Aerial LLC: Accident occurred June 06, 2016 in Ropesville, Hockley County, Texas

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Registered Owner: Capital Asset Resources 
Operator: T-C Aerial LLC

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA208 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Monday, June 06, 2016 in Ropesville, TX
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR AT-502, registration: N10325
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 June 6, 2016, at 1316 central daylight time, an Air Tractor Inc. AT-502, N10325, impacted terrain during an aerial application of a field near Ropesville, Texas. The airplane was destroyed. The pilot received serious injuries. The airplane was operated by T-C Aerial LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

The pilot stated that during a "routine" aerial application, he circled the field to be sprayed to locate obstacles. He sprayed the field from north to south and made passes from east to west. During the third pass when the airplane exited the field to west to return for an eastward pass, he felt the airplane shake at the apex of the turn. He said that he "corrected for the shake/stall," and the shaking quit for a moment. He then felt the right wing "take a hard dip." The airplane entered a right roll and impacted the ground.

The pilot stated that there was no mechanical malfunction/failure of the airplane.

LEVELLAND, TX --  Just before 1:30 p.m. Monday, a neighbor reported a plane crash in a cotton field in Hockley County.

The Hockley County Sheriff's Office confirmed that a plane was reported down in the 6300 block of Leopard Road, which is about halfway between Levelland and Ropesville.

Aerocare was dispatched and the pilot of that crop duster, David Gonzales, 47, of San Antonio was taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock. As of Monday evening UMC reported that Gonzales was in the Emergency Room of the hospital. Gonzales' family members told that Gonzales is expected to recover and that he has been visiting with family in the hospital

The Texas Department of Public Safety said Gonzales suffered injuries that were not life-threatening. 

John Gonzalez with DPS said, "Why the plane went down? We don't know."

Only one person was aboard. 

The tail number on the plane indicated it was a crop duster owned by a company in Southlake. A family member of the pilot indicated he was working for a company based in Littlefield.  Employees of Brown Flying Service in Littlefield went to the scene of the crash and confirmed that Gonzales is one of their employees.

The FAA was notified and arrived on scene to investigate. DPS said Monday evening that the investigation into this crash has now been handed over to the FAA. 

"It's amazing that someone could live through that, it is a pretty bad crash, it took out the front part of the engine, motor block and one wing," explained Captain Nolan Seaton of the Hockley County Sheriff's Office who responded to the crash. 

 Cpl. Gonzalez with DPS added that accidents like these are a reminder for motorists that crop dusters can fly very low and that it's important to be vigilant for them on county roads. 

The Hockley County Sheriff's Office said that they've seen several similar crashes with small aircrafts or crop dusters over the past few years. Captain Seaton said what made the difference in this crash was a neighbor who saw what happened and alerted authorities about the crash. 

"Be aware of that airplanes have been in the sky; this plane came down, the guy at the house he probably wouldn't have known about it if he hadn't been in the back yard working," Seaton said. 

Story, video and photo gallery:

ROPESVILLE, TX (KCBD) -   A crop duster pilot has been injured in a plane crash in the 6000 block Leopard Road south of 1585 near Ropesville in Hockley County. The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that an Air Tractor crop duster crashed into a cotton field around 1:20 p.m.  The pilot was seriously injured, suspected to have two broken legs. The pilot has been identified as 47-year-old David Gonzales of San Antonio.  The pilot was transported to UMC by AeroCare. The FAA is investigating the crash.

Story and video: 

A crop duster crashed into a cotton field early Monday afternoon in Hockley County. An Air Tractor crop duster crashed into the field about 1:15 p.m. near Ropesville, according to Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured or what prompted the crash. By mid-Monday afternoon, the yellow and black crop duster remained in the field near the 6300 block of Leopard Road as local law enforcement worked the scene. The FAA is investigating the incident.

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