Thursday, August 25, 2016

Piper PA-25-235, N4963Y: Accident occurred August 25, 2016 in Bushton, Rice County, Kansas

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Wichita FSDO-64

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA334
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, August 25, 2016 in Bushton, KS
Aircraft: PIPER PA 25-235, registration: N4963Y
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 August 25, 2016, about 1250 central daylight time, a Piper PA-25-235 single-engine airplane, N4963Y, was substantially damaged during an off-airport forced landing near Bushton, Kansas. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to a private individual and was operated by Wayne's Ag Aviation; Ellsworth, Kansas, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 agricultural application flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan for the local flight had not been filed.

The pilot was spraying pesticide when he had a partial loss of power and engine did not respond to throttle commands. He crashed straight ahead into a tall Milo crop and the airplane came to rest inverted. There was a postimpact fuel leak and pesticide leak, but no postimpact fire.

No witnesses observed the accident and the wreckage wasn't easily visible from nearby roads. The pilot reported that although he was in considerable pain with several broken bones, after efforts of more than 15 minutes he was finally able to exit the inverted wreckage of the low-wing airplane. He then saw his cell phone on the ground, picked it up, called 9-1-1 emergency and directed the emergency responders to his location.

The closest official weather reporting station was at KGBD, Great Bend, Kansas; located 24 miles southwest from the accident location, At 1235 the Automated Surface Observation System at KGBD, reported wind from 050 degrees at 11 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 21 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 13 degrees C, with an altimeter setting of 30.16 inches of mercury.

RICE COUNTY, Kan. UPDATE: The Kansas Highway Patrol says the pilot of a 1968 Piper fixed wing aircraft was injured in a Thursday afternoon crop duster plane crash in Rice County.

The KHP says the plane was in the process of spraying pesticide on a crop field, when for unknown reasons, the motor stalled. The pilot, 51-year-old Brad S. Fitchett, of Ellsworth, attempted an emergency landing, skidding more than 180 feet through the field when the plane flipped on its top.

Fitchett was transported to the Great Bend Regional Hospital before being transferred to Via Christi St. Francis hospital in Wichita where he's listed in serious condition.

Emergency crews are on the scene of a crop duster crash in Rice County. It happened at around 12:40 near Avenue B and 5th Road.

Rice County EMS and the Bushton Fire Department responded to the scene.

No word on the condition of the pilot.


BUSHTON, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas pilot has been hurt in a small plane crash in central Kansas.

Kansas Highway Patrol Master Trooper Dave Jacobs says 51-year-old Bradley Fitchett, of Ellsworth, was using a small agricultural aircraft to spray pesticide on a field south of Bushton on Thursday when the plane developed an engine problem. Fitchett attempted to make an emergency landing when the plane flipped.

The pilot was transported to Great Bend hospital and then transferred to a Wichita hospital.

Jacobs says Fitchett was wearing a helmet that was crushed in two places. Jacobs says it saved Fitchett from a more serious head injury.

The accident is under investigation.

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