Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Air Tractor AT-602, N602L: Accident occurred December 27, 2016 Willows, Glenn County, California

FAA Flight Standards District Office: SACRAMENTO FSDO

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA042
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 27, 2016 in Willows, CA
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 602, registration: N602L
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 December 27, 2016, about 1553 Pacific standard time, an Air Tractor AT-602, N602L, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at Willows-Glenn County Airport (WLW), Willows, California. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight that departed Medlock Field Airport (69CL), Davis, California at approximately 1527. The personal flight was destined for WLW. 

According to the pilot, he was returning the airplane to his home airport after a recent annual inspection. At the conclusion of the 25 minute flight, the pilot initiated a straight-in approach to runway 31 and slightly reduced the throttle. Immediately, he heard a "pop" noise, and observed a reduction in airspeed. When the pilot advanced the throttle to full power the engine power and airspeed did not change and the airplane began to sink rapidly. Further attempts to recycle the throttle were unsuccessful. As the airplane approached a canal on the south end of the airport, the pilot deployed the wing flaps and the main landing gear touched down on a gravel road beyond a ditch. The tailwheel impacted the ditch and the airplane flipped over and came to rest inverted. 

Postaccident examination by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to the rudder and left wing spar. 

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

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