Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Air Tractor AT-802, Empty Pockets Flying Service Inc., N519EP: Accident occurred September 06, 2016 in Wilson, Arkansas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board:   https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA512
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 06, 2016 in Wilson, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2017
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR AT802, registration: N519EP
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, he was on his sixth agricultural application pass of the third field for the day. He reported that, during that pass, the airplane’s tail struck “unseen powerlines.” He recalled that the power lines crossed the field at an angle and that the power line poles were hidden by trees on both sides of the field. The pilot flew to a nearby airport and landed without further incident. The vertical stabilizer and the rudder sustained substantial damage.

Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137.19 (e) states, in part,

Knowledge and skill tests. The applicant must show, or have the person who is designated as the chief supervisor of agricultural aircraft operations for him show, that he has satisfactory knowledge and skill regarding agricultural aircraft operations, as described in paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section. 

(1)(i) Steps to be taken before starting operations, including survey of the area to be worked. …

(1)(vi) Safe flight and application procedures.

During an interview with the operator, the investigator-in-charge (IIC) asked if documented training was provided to pilots regarding the location of wire hazards for the area of operation, and the operator responded that it did not provide this information to its pilots. At the request of the IIC, the operator agreed to provide documented, local area power line and obstacle avoidance training to pilots who perform application operations. The operator has completed the recommended training.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or anomalies with the airframe or engine that would have prevented normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to adequately survey the area of operation and his subsequent failure to maintain clearance from power lines during an agricultural application flight.

EMPTY POCKETS FLYING SERVICE INC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N519EP

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Little Rock FSDO-11

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA512 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 06, 2016 in Wilson, AR
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR AT802, registration: N519EP
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, he was on his sixth aerial application pass of the third field for the day. He reported that during that pass, the airplane's tail struck "unseen powerlines". He recalled that the powerline wires crossed the field at an angle, and that the powerline poles were hidden by the trees on both sides of the field. The pilot flew to a nearby airport, and landed without further incident. The vertical stabilizer and the rudder sustained substantial damage.

In accordance with 14 CFR Part 137, Section 19, (e)(1)(i)(vi) 

(a) General. An applicant for a private agricultural aircraft operator certificate is entitled to that certificate if he shows that he meets the requirements of paragraphs (b), (d), and (e) of this section. An applicant for a commercial agricultural aircraft operator certificate is entitled to that certificate if he shows that he meets the requirements of paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of this section. 

The agricultural aircraft operator is entitled to a commercial agricultural aircraft operator certificate if the operator can show that the knowledge and skills required by the Commercial Operator per paragraph (e) are complied with, which include:

(i) Steps to be taken before starting operations, including survey of the area to be worked.

(vi) Safe flight and application procedures.

During an interview with the operator, the investigator-in-charge asked if documented training was provided to pilots regarding the location of wire hazards for the area of operation? The operator said, no. At the request of the investigator-in-charge, the operator agreed to provide documented, local area powerline wire and obstacle avoidance training to the pilots that are performing aerial application operations for the organization. The operator has completed the recommended training.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or anomalies with the airframe or engine prior to the wire strike, that would have prevented normal operation.

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