Saturday, July 23, 2016

Unregistered Ultralight Trike: Accident occurred July 23, 2016 at Foothills Regional Airport (KMRN), Morganton, Burke County, North Carolina

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Charlotte FSDO-68

Date: 23-JUL-16
Time: 21:22:00Z
Regis#: UNREGISTERED
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: Serious
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
City: MORGANTON
State: North Carolina

UNREGISTERED ULTRALIGHT TRIKE ON TAKEOFF, NOSE DIVED INTO TERRAIN, MORGANTON, NORTH CAROLINA.


BURKE COUNTY, N.C. —

Emergency crews in Burke County told Channel 9 they responded to an ultralight plane crash Saturday evening.

Officials were called to Foothills Regional Airport in Morganton just before 5:30 p.m. where the plane apparently crashed just off the runway.

Witnesses said the plane stalled shortly after takeoff, before crashing.

The ultralight was heavily damaged and state troopers said the pilot, 20-year-old Jamie Lee Harris, of Newland, was the only person on board. He was transported to the hospital with injuries to his arm and leg.

Troopers said Harris was wearing a helmet during the flight, and that he had put the ultralight together Saturday afternoon at the airport.

Story and video:   http://www.wsoctv.com

Compass Airlines flight diverts to Portland over 'security concern'

A Compass Airlines flight from Seattle to San Diego landed in Portland on Saturday morning facing an unspecified and unverified threat. Police and firefighters responded.

The flight diverted to Portland "out of an abundance of caution as a result of a security concern," Compass said in a written statement. The airline said the flight carried 58 passengers and four crew on an Embraer 175 aircraft.

Compass flight 5733 landed at Portland International Airport around 9:30 a.m., according to the airline. Initial reports from the Port of Portland indicated it was a Delta Air Lines flight -- Compass said it's actually a Delta Connection flight.

Online flight trackers indicate the flight had nearly reached the California border on its flight from Seattle before turning around and flying to Portland. FlightAware indicates the flight left Portland, again en route to San Diego, at 12:44 p.m.

"The passengers are now off the plane," said Melanie Mesaros, spokeswoman for the Port of Portland, which operates Portland International Airport. She said two runways are closed but that's not affecting other flights.

Neither the airline nor the airport offered any details on the kind of security threat the aircraft faced.

"They're actively investigating right now," Mesaros said.

Source:  http://www.oregonlive.com

Freedom Master FM-2 Air Shark, N282XT: Accident occurred July 23, 2016 near Goodspeed Airport (42B), Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut

BENJAMIN TEMPLE: http://registry.faa.gov/N282XT

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Windsor Locks FSDO-63

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA267 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 23, 2016 in East Haddam, CT
Aircraft: TEMPLE BENJAMIN FREEDOM MASTER FM-2, registration: N282XT
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 July 23, 2016, about 1700 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Freedom Master FM-2, N282XT, was substantially damaged when it impacted a house shortly after takeoff from Goodspeed Airport (42B), East Haddam, Connecticut. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight that was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to witnesses, the pilot performed an engine run-up and then departed the airport. The airplane climbed to about 400 feet above ground level, "banked hard left," entered a spin, and then descended behind trees. A witness video recorded the airplane in the spin, which revealed that the engine was operating until it impacted a house.

The airplane impacted the house in a nose low attitude and came to rest inside the structure. The wings, fuselage, and empennage were substantially damaged during the accident sequence. The propeller remained attached to the engine and exhibited chordwise scratching. Furthermore, an odor consistent with aviation fuel was noted at the accident site.






HADDAM - A single-engine plane crashed into a house on Little Meadow Road near Eagles Landing in Haddam at around 4 p.m. Saturday, according to state police.

The sole occupant of the plane,  Benjamin Temple, 46, of East Rockway, NY, was seriously injured and LifeStar took him to the hospital, according to state police.


There were no reported injuries to the homeowner or anyone on the ground.


Power lines were also impacted.


The FAA is on scene and the State Aviation Inspector and DEEP are on the way. The Haddam Building Inspector is on hand to check the condition of the house.


This is a FAA investigation, with state police assisting.


Story and video: http://fox61.com





HADDAM — The pilot of a single-engine plane was injured when it crashed onto the roof of a house on Little Meadow Road, near Eagles Landing, on Saturday afternoon, state police said.

The man was badly hurt, but said a couple of words to first responders, according to Joe Smith, a veteran of the U.S. Coast guard who was in his motorboat on the Connecticut River when he saw the plane crash and rushed to help. He said that the residents of the house were there at the time, but that it didn't appear anyone else was injured.

The LifeStar helicopter was called in to take the person to a hospital, State Trooper Kelly Grant said. His condition was not available Saturday evening.

Smith said the plane was flying near the Goodspeed Airport, which is across the river from the crash site, about 4 p.m. when it started dropping fast.

"We saw a plane that was flying right above the Goodspeed Airport. It started spiraling downward. We weren't sure if it was a trick or what," he said.

But when the plane didn't reappear above the tree line, he was sure it had crashed. Smith said he sped to the riverbank near where the plane had gone out of sight and dashed up to find that the plane was on the roof of a house.

"The plane crashed into the house, nose first," he said. "Both wings were pulled off."

He and several other people climbed onto the roof and helped to extricate a man from the plane. "We pulled him out of the plane and then just kept him stable" until help arrived, Smith said.

He said the man was badly injured, but was able to say a couple of words. Smith said there was a large amount of fuel leaking from the plane.

Grant said Eversource was contacted because power lines or poles have been affected.

A spokeswoman for Eversource that that the utility shut down power to almost 300 powers to enable the rescue effort to proceed safely. She said at 6 p.m. that she expects power to be restored within the next few hours.

The FAA is investigating, with the state police, and the state aviation inspector and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also were heading to the scene, Grant said. The Haddam building inspector was checking the integrity of residence, she said.

Source:  http://www.courant.com



HADDAM, CT (WFSB) -  The pilot of a small plane has been airlifted via LIFESTAR to Hartford Hospital following a crash that landed the plane into a house in Haddam on Saturday afternoon. It is unclear how many passengers were on the plane and the extent of injuries.

The plane crashed around 4 p.m. on Little Meadow Road.

Nearly three hundred residents in the area are without power after Eversource crews intentionally cut power to the area. Officials said power lines may be down.

State police said no one inside the home was injured. 

A HazMat team from The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, DEEP, has been called in to assist. 

Source:   http://www.wfsb.com






HADDAM, Conn. (WTNH) — A small plane has crashed into a house in Haddam on Saturday afternoon.

State police say a twin engine plane crashed into a house on Little Meadow Road near Eagles Landing in Haddam around 4 p.m. Saturday.

LifeStar responded and took the pilot to the hospital. Police say an elderly man was inside the home at the time, but he is OK.

Eversource was also contacted due to damaged power lines. As of 4:50 p.m. Eversource is reporting nearly 300 outages in Haddam.

Source:   http://wtnh.com 

Air Tractor Inc AT-502B, N502WC, operated by Farm Air Flying Services and Air Tractor AT-502B, N5044N, operated by Growers Air Service: Fatal accident occurred July 23, 2016 in Zamora, Yolo County, California

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.
Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento, California
Air Tractor, Inc.; Olney, Texas

N502WC  Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

N502WC Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N502WC

N502WC Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Zamora, CA
Accident Number: WPR16FA148A
Date & Time: 07/23/2016, 0745 PDT
Registration: N502WC
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Midair collision
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 23, 2016, about 0745 Pacific daylight time (PDT), two Air Tractor AT-502Bs, N502WC, and N5044N, collided in-flight near Zamora, California. The commercial pilot of N502WC was fatally injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The commercial pilot of N5044N received minor injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. N502WC was operated by Farm Air Flying Services, and N5044N was operated by Growers Air Service. Both flights were operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as aerial application flights. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and company flight plans had been filed for both flights.

The pilot of N502WC had finished spraying mosquito repellant and was traveling eastbound en route to Farm Air Flying Services.

The pilot of N5044N had finished spraying a rice field and was traveling southbound en route to Growers Air Service.

During a postaccident interview, the pilot of N5044N reported that he could not recall his altitude but stated that it would normally have been at least 500 ft above ground level (agl). He added that he observed N502WC on his right side traveling toward him when he maneuvered his airplane and ascended; however, N502WC contacted the undercarriage of his airplane and subsequently collided with terrain. The pilot of N5044N was unable to maintain altitude and subsequently performed a forced landing to an open field. According to the pilot of N5044N, the pilot of N502WC would have been traveling toward the sun and likely did not see him before the collision.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

N502WC

The pilot, age 25, held a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. He also held a mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings. His most recent second-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate was issued on March 30, 2016, with no limitations. On the application for that certificate, the pilot reported 2,250 total hours of flight experience, with 450 hours in the previous 6 months.

Acccording to the pilot's logbook, the most recent flight review was performed on February 16, 2016. He received a logbook endorsement under Title 14 CFR Part 61.56 – Flight Review.

N5044N

The pilot, age 64, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on October 1, 2015, with the limitation for wear corrective lenses. The pilot had been flying for Growers Air Services for the past 27 years. His flight experience was not determined.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Both airplanes were painted yellow with blue trim.

N502WC

The airplane, serial number 502B-2830, was manufactured in 2012; and equipped with a 750-shaft horsepower Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34AG engine, serial number PCE-PH0774. The most recent annual inspection was completed on May 1, 2016, at an airframe total time of 967.5 hours.

N5044N

The airplane, serial number 502B-0452, was manufactured in 1997, and equipped with a 750-shaft horsepower Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34AG engine, serial number PCE-PH0416. The airplane Hobbs hour meter indicated a time of 1533.8 hours' time-in-service. The airplane logbooks were not made available for review.

METOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

According to the sun position chart sunrise was at 0600. The sun's azimuth at 0745 was 64°, at an elevation of 18° above the horizon.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The National Transportation Safety Board Investigator-in-charge (NTSB IIC), an FAA inspector, and a representative from Air Tractor, Inc., responded to both accident sites. The accident sites were separated by about 2/3 mile.

N502WC came to rest partially intact in an organic rice field on a magnetic heading of 280°. The vertical stabilizer and rudder separated from the empennage and were not located. The propeller hub, with propeller blades attached, had separated and was located near the main wreckage. The top portion of the nose and cockpit canopy had separated from the airplane. The main landing gear remained attached to the airplane's undercarriage. The airplane was equipped with an AmSafe inflatable restraint (airbag) system. The airbags were found deployed in the fuselage wreckage.

N5044N landed in a plowed open field in an upright position. The airplane remained intact except for the landing gear and spray equipment, which had separated from the airplane. Both wings remained attached to the fuselage. The left wing sustained damage the length of the wing, and the aileron was damaged. The wing tip had blue paint transfer on the underneath portion of the wing. The airplane came to rest on a 100° magnetic heading. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit to all flight controls surfaces. The airplane was equipped with an AmSafe inflatable restraint (airbag) system that had not deployed during the collision or subsequent forced landing.

Neither airplane exhibited any mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The County of Sacramento, Department of Coroner, Sacramento, California, performed a postmortem examination of the pilot of N502WC. The cause of death was reported as multiple injuries.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology testing on specimens of the pilot of N502WC. Carbon monoxide and cyanide testing were not performed; volatiles testing reported no ethanol detected in urine. Tested-for-drugs yielded positive results.

According to the NTSB medical officer, the pilot had reported no chronic medical conditions and no medication use to the FAA. The FAA issued the pilot a second-class medical certificate without limitations.

The County of Sacramento, Department of the Corner, recovered three loose white oblong tablets, two of which were broken in half; the tablets were located in the pilot's pants pocket. The tablets had the imprint "M367" on them, which is consistent with acetaminophen and hydrocodone 325 mg/10mg.

Postaccident toxicology testing identified hydrocodone at 46 ng/ml (0.046 ug/ml) and its metabolite dihydrocodeine at 10 ng/ml (0.010 ug/ml) in femoral blood. In addition, there were two sedating antihistamines, chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine, found in subclavian and heart blood respectively. The levels presented for each were below the calibration curve of the instruments and below the lower end of the therapeutic ranges. Chlorpheniramine was also confirmed in the liver and diphenhydramine was confirmed in urine. Sertraline and its metabolite Demethylsertraline were found in liver and lung tissue. Tramadol and its metabolite O-desmethyltramadol were found in urine but not in blood. Hydrocodone was detected in heart blood but could not be quantified due to technical difficulties. Its active metabolite, dihydrocodeine, was quantified at 0.016 ug/ml in heart blood. Both the hydrocodone and the dihydrocodeine, and another metabolite, hydromorphone, were identified in urine. An opioid unrelated to the others, morphine, was also found in urine, but not in blood.

Chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine, two sedating antihistamines are available as over-the-counter allergy product and sleep aid respectively. Chlorpheniramine has the following warning, "when using this product, drowsiness may occur, avoid alcoholic beverages; alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers may increase drowsiness; use caution when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery." According to the NTSB medical officer, Diphenhydramine is classified as a CNS depressant, and this is the rationale for its use as a sleep aid. Possible side-effects could potentially be altered mood and impaired cognitive and psychomotor performance. In a driving simulator study, a single dose of diphenhydramine impaired driving ability more than a blood alcohol concentration of 0.100°.

Cyclobenzaprine is a prescription medication used to treat muscle spasm. It is considered potentially impairing and carries this warning, "Cyclobenzaprine HC1 may enhance the effects of alcohol, barbiturates, and other central nervous system depressants." Cyclobenzaprine does undergo a significant post mortem redistribution, it moves back into blood from storage sites after death, as a result, levels identified in heart blood during postmortem may be many times higher than ante mortem levels.

Sertraline is a prescription antidepressant also marketed under the name Zoloft. While not considered directly impairing, depression is associated with significant cognitive degradation. The FAA requires pilots being treated for depression to undergo additional evaluation beyond the usual medical certification.

The autopsy also revealed the use of several opioids; Tramadol, hydrocodone, and morphine. Tramadol is available through a prescription as a Schedule IV controlled substance. The coroner's laboratory identified hydrocodone and its active metabolite dihydrocodeine in femoral blood. Hydrocodone is a Schedule II controlled substance and is available by prescription. This drug is considered to have a high potential for abuse and users are warned, that "profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death may result from concomitant use of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants. The therapeutic range for hydrocodone is considered between 0.0100 and 0.0500 ug/ml. the specimen used by the coroner was from femoral blood, the level 0.046 ug/ml best represents the pilot's ante mortem drug level. Dihydrocodeine is an active metabolite of hydrocodone.

According to the NTSB medical officer, the morphine found in the pilot's urine but not in blood may represent previous use of morphine, codeine, or heroin. Drugs found only in urine, but not in other body tissue are generally considered to no longer have any direct psychoactive effects.

N5044N

The pilot of N5044N, received minor injuries and was transported to the hospital. He reported the use of simvastatin to lower cholesterol on his most recent FAA medical certificate application. No postaccident toxicology testing was performed on the surviving pilot.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Two onboard devices used to control agricultural spray operations based on vendor-and user-prescribed maps were shipped to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division: A Hemisphere Satloc G-4 that was installed on N502WC, and a Satloc M3 CPU that was installed on N5044N.

The Satloc G-4 sustained minor damage, and recorded data for the accident flight between 0624:48 and 0739:49 PDT

The Satloc M3 CPU Data Recovery sustained minor damage, but data retrieved from the compact flash card contained only ground operations from 0531 and 0532 (time zone not verified) on the day of the accident. According to the manufacturer, the Satloc M3 was an older generation unit that only copied data from volatile memory to non-volatile memory when a new log was started.

Data recovered from N502WC (the airplane with the Satloc G-4 installed was overlaid on a Google Earth image). Data ended as the airplane was traveling eastbound about 143 mph. The overlay showed that N502WC flew two racetrack-type patterns over fields. Following the second pattern, the accident airplane headed east at 284.3 ft agl traveling 145.19 mph at 0739:17. About 13 seconds later, the accident airplane was traveling 145.22 mph at an altitude of 337.7 ft. agl. The last recorded log was at 0739:459 at an altitude of 433.9 ft agl, and airspeed of 143.16 mph.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Regarding collision avoidance, the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook states,

"All pilots must be alert to the potential for midair collision and near midair collisions… this concept requires that vigilance shall be maintained at all times, by each person operating an aircraft regardless of whether the operation is conducted under instrument flight rules (IFR) or visual flight rules (VFR)… most midair collision accident and reported near midair collision incidents occur in good VFR weather conditions and during the hours of daylight. Most of these accident/incidents occur within 5 miles of an airport and/or near navigation aids."

The NTSB released a Special Investigation Report on the Safety of Agricultural Aircraft Operations; NTSB/SIR-14/01 PB2014-105983. To view the entire investigative report go to: https://ntsb.gov/safety/safety-studies/Pages/SIR1401.aspx

The NTSB has released two safety alerts that address midair collisions and preventions. To view the safety alerts in their entirety go to: https://ntsb.gov/safety/safety-alerts/Pages/default.aspx

SA-045: See and Be Seen: Your Life Depends on it

SA-058: Prevent Midair Collisions: Don't Depend on Vision Alone

The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) emails weekly a fly safe newsletter and publishes a Professional Operating Guidelines manual. Chapter 4 safety, section 4.3 Subsection C, titled Safe Piloting Techniques; recommends that the pilot ferry the airplane to and from application sites above 500 ft agl and remain clear of congested areas, and to see and avoid other aircraft and obstructions. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 25, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Center
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/01/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 2250 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0 hours (Total, this make and model), 450 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AIR TRACTOR INC
Registration: N502WC
Model/Series: AT 502B B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 502B-2830
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/01/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 968 Hours
Engines:  Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 967.5 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt and Whitney Canada
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 502B-2830
Registered Owner: SIB AG AERO LLC
Rated Power: 750 hp
Operator: Farm Air Flying Services
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSMF, 23 ft msl
Observation Time: 1453 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 128°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 14°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: VERONA, CA (38CL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: VERONA, CA (38CL)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  PDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Riego Flight Strip Airport (38CL)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 21 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 38.802778, -121.767500 (est)

N5044N Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

N5044N  Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

N5044N   Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N5044N

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Zamora, CA
Accident Number: WPR16FA148B
Date & Time: 07/23/2016, 0745 PDT
Registration: N5044N
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Midair collision
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 23, 2016, about 0745 Pacific daylight time (PDT), two Air Tractor AT-502Bs, N502WC, and N5044N, collided in-flight near Zamora, California. The commercial pilot of N502WC was fatally injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The commercial pilot of N5044N received minor injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. N502WC was operated by Farm Air Flying Services, and N5044N was operated by Growers Air Service. Both flights were operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as aerial application flights. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and company flight plans had been filed for both flights.

The pilot of N502WC had finished spraying mosquito repellant and was traveling eastbound en route to Farm Air Flying Services.

The pilot of N5044N had finished spraying a rice field and was traveling southbound en route to Growers Air Service.

During a postaccident interview, the pilot of N5044N reported that he could not recall his altitude but stated that it would normally have been at least 500 ft above ground level (agl). He added that he observed N502WC on his right side traveling toward him when he maneuvered his airplane and ascended; however, N502WC contacted the undercarriage of his airplane and subsequently collided with terrain. The pilot of N5044N was unable to maintain altitude and subsequently performed a forced landing to an open field. According to the pilot of N5044N, the pilot of N502WC would have been traveling toward the sun and likely did not see him before the collision.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

N502WC

The pilot, age 25, held a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. He also held a mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings. His most recent second-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate was issued on March 30, 2016, with no limitations. On the application for that certificate, the pilot reported 2,250 total hours of flight experience, with 450 hours in the previous 6 months.

According to the pilot's logbook, the most recent flight review was performed on February 16, 2016. He received a logbook endorsement under Title 14 CFR Part 61.56 – Flight Review.

N5044N

The pilot, age 64, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on October 1, 2015, with the limitation for wear corrective lenses. The pilot had been flying for Growers Air Services for the past 27 years. His flight experience was not determined.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Both airplanes were painted yellow with blue trim.

N502WC

The airplane, serial number 502B-2830, was manufactured in 2012; and equipped with a 750-shaft horsepower Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34AG engine, serial number PCE-PH0774. The most recent annual inspection was completed on May 1, 2016, at an airframe total time of 967.5 hours.

N5044N

The airplane, serial number 502B-0452, was manufactured in 1997, and equipped with a 750-shaft horsepower Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34AG engine, serial number PCE-PH0416. The airplane Hobbs hour meter indicated a time of 1533.8 hours' time-in-service. The airplane logbooks were not made available for review.

METOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

According to the sun position chart sunrise was at 0600. The sun's azimuth at 0745 was 64°, at an elevation of 18° above the horizon.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The National Transportation Safety Board Investigator-in-charge (NTSB IIC), an FAA inspector, and a representative from Air Tractor, Inc., responded to both accident sites. The accident sites were separated by about 2/3 mile.

N502WC came to rest partially intact in an organic rice field on a magnetic heading of 280°. The vertical stabilizer and rudder separated from the empennage and were not located. The propeller hub, with propeller blades attached, had separated and was located near the main wreckage. The top portion of the nose and cockpit canopy had separated from the airplane. The main landing gear remained attached to the airplane's undercarriage. The airplane was equipped with an AmSafe inflatable restraint (airbag) system. The airbags were found deployed in the fuselage wreckage.

N5044N landed in a plowed open field in an upright position. The airplane remained intact except for the landing gear and spray equipment, which had separated from the airplane. Both wings remained attached to the fuselage. The left wing sustained damage the length of the wing, and the aileron was damaged. The wing tip had blue paint transfer on the underneath portion of the wing. The airplane came to rest on a 100° magnetic heading. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit to all flight controls surfaces. The airplane was equipped with an AmSafe inflatable restraint (airbag) system that had not deployed during the collision or subsequent forced landing.

Neither airplane exhibited any mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The County of Sacramento, Department of Coroner, Sacramento, California, performed a postmortem examination of the pilot of N502WC. The cause of death was reported as multiple injuries.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology testing on specimens of the pilot of N502WC. Carbon monoxide and cyanide testing were not performed; volatiles testing reported no ethanol detected in urine. Tested-for-drugs yielded positive results.

According to the NTSB medical officer, the pilot had reported no chronic medical conditions and no medication use to the FAA. The FAA issued the pilot a second-class medical certificate without limitations.

The County of Sacramento, Department of the Corner, recovered three loose white oblong tablets, two of which were broken in half; the tablets were located in the pilot's pants pocket. The tablets had the imprint "M367" on them, which is consistent with acetaminophen and hydrocodone 325 mg/10mg.

Postaccident toxicology testing identified hydrocodone at 46 ng/ml (0.046 ug/ml) and its metabolite dihydrocodeine at 10 ng/ml (0.010 ug/ml) in femoral blood. In addition, there were two sedating antihistamines, chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine, found in subclavian and heart blood respectively. The levels presented for each were below the calibration curve of the instruments and below the lower end of the therapeutic ranges. Chlorpheniramine was also confirmed in the liver and diphenhydramine was confirmed in urine. Sertraline and its metabolite Demethylsertraline were found in liver and lung tissue. Tramadol and its metabolite O-desmethyltramadol were found in urine but not in blood. Hydrocodone was detected in heart blood but could not be quantified due to technical difficulties. Its active metabolite, dihydrocodeine, was quantified at 0.016 ug/ml in heart blood. Both the hydrocodone and the dihydrocodeine, and another metabolite, hydromorphone, were identified in urine. An opioid unrelated to the others, morphine, was also found in urine, but not in blood.

Chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine, two sedating antihistamines are available as over-the-counter allergy product and sleep aid respectively. Chlorpheniramine has the following warning, "when using this product, drowsiness may occur, avoid alcoholic beverages; alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers may increase drowsiness; use caution when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery." According to the NTSB medical officer, Diphenhydramine is classified as a CNS depressant, and this is the rationale for its use as a sleep aid. Possible side-effects could potentially be altered mood and impaired cognitive and psychomotor performance. In a driving simulator study, a single dose of diphenhydramine impaired driving ability more than a blood alcohol concentration of 0.100%.

Cyclobenzaprine is a prescription medication used to treat muscle spasm. It is considered potentially impairing and carries this warning, "Cyclobenzaprine HC1 may enhance the effects of alcohol, barbiturates, and other central nervous system depressants." Cyclobenzaprine does undergo a significant post mortem redistribution, it moves back into blood from storage sites after death, as a result, levels identified in heart blood during postmortem may be many times higher than ante mortem levels.

Sertraline is a prescription antidepressant also marketed under the name Zoloft. While not considered directly impairing, depression is associated with significant cognitive degradation. The FAA requires pilots being treated for depression to undergo additional evaluation beyond the usual medical certification.

The autopsy also revealed the use of several opioids; Tramadol, hydrocodone, and morphine. Tramadol is available through a prescription as a Schedule IV controlled substance. The coroner's laboratory identified hydrocodone and its active metabolite dihydrocodeine in femoral blood. Hydrocodone is a Schedule II controlled substance and is available by prescription. This drug is considered to have a high potential for abuse and users are warned, that "profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death may result from concomitant use of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants. The therapeutic range for hydrocodone is considered between 0.0100 and 0.0500 ug/ml. the specimen used by the coroner was from femoral blood, the level 0.046 ug/ml best represents the pilot's ante mortem drug level. Dihydrocodeine is an active metabolite of hydrocodone.

According to the NTSB medical officer, the morphine found in the pilot's urine but not in blood may represent previous use of morphine, codeine, or heroin. Drugs found only in urine, but not in other body tissue are generally considered to no longer have any direct psychoactive effects.

N5044N

The pilot of N5044N, received minor injuries and was transported to the hospital. He reported the use of simvastatin to lower cholesterol on his most recent FAA medical certificate application. No postaccident toxicology testing was performed on the surviving pilot.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Two onboard devices used to control agricultural spray operations based on vendor-and user-prescribed maps were shipped to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division: A Hemisphere Satloc G-4 that was installed on N502WC, and a Satloc M3 CPU that was installed on N5044N.

The Satloc G-4 sustained minor damage, and recorded data for the accident flight between 0624:48 and 0739:49 PDT

The Satloc M3 CPU Data Recovery sustained minor damage, but data retrieved from the compact flash card contained only ground operations from 0531 and 0532 (time zone not verified) on the day of the accident. According to the manufacturer, the Satloc M3 was an older generation unit that only copied data from volatile memory to non-volatile memory when a new log was started.

Data recovered from N502WC (the airplane with the Satloc G-4 installed was overlaid on a Google Earth image). Data ended as the airplane was traveling eastbound about 143 mph. The overlay showed that N502WC flew two racetrack-type patterns over fields. Following the second pattern, the accident airplane headed east at 284.3 ft agl traveling 145.19 mph at 0739:17. About 13 seconds later, the accident airplane was traveling 145.22 mph at an altitude of 337.7 ft. agl. The last recorded log was at 0739:459 at an altitude of 433.9 ft agl, and airspeed of 143.16 mph.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Regarding collision avoidance, the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook states

"All pilots must be alert to the potential for midair collision and near midair collisions… this concept requires that vigilance shall be maintained at all times, by each person operating an aircraft regardless of whether the operation is conducted under instrument flight rules (IFR) or visual flight rules (VFR)… most midair collision accident and reported near midair collision incidents occur in good VFR weather conditions and during the hours of daylight. Most of these accident/incidents occur within 5 miles of an airport and/or near navigation aids."

The NTSB released a Special Investigation Report on the Safety of Agricultural Aircraft Operations; NTSB/SIR-14/01 PB2014-105983. To view the entire investigative report go to: https://ntsb.gov/safety/safety-studies/Pages/SIR1401.aspx

The NTSB has released two safety alerts that address midair collisions and preventions. To view the safety alerts in their entirety please go to: https://ntsb.gov/safety/safety-alerts/Pages/default.aspx

SA-045: See and Be Seen: Your Life Depends on it

SA-058: Prevent Midair Collisions: Don't Depend on Vision Alone

The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) emails weekly a fly safe newsletter and publishes a Professional Operating Guidelines manual. Chapter 4 safety, section 4.3 Subsection C, titled Safe Piloting Techniques; recommends that the pilot ferry the airplane to and from application sites above 500 ft agl and remain clear of congested areas, and to see and avoid other aircraft and obstructions. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/01/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AIR TRACTOR INC
Registration: N5044N
Model/Series: AT 502B B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1997
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 502B-0452
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt and Whitney Canada
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 502B-0452
Registered Owner: GROWERS AIR SERVICE INC
Rated Power: 750 hp
Operator: GROWERS AIR SERVICE INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSMF, 23 ft msl
Observation Time: 1453 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 128°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 14°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: DAVIS, CA (69CL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: DAVIS, CA (69CL)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  PDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Riego Flight Strip Airport (38CL)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 21 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor

Latitude, Longitude:  38.802778, -121.767500 (est)

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA148A
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Saturday, July 23, 2016 in Zamora, CA
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B, registration: N502WC
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor.

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA148B
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Saturday, July 23, 2016 in Zamora, CA
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B, registration: N5044N
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor.

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 July 23, 2016, about 0745 Pacific daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-502B, N502WC, and an Air Tractor AT-502B, N5044N, collided in-flight near Zamora, California. N502WC was operated by Farm Air under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. N5044N was operated by Growers Air Service, and was operated as an aerial application flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and company flight plans had been filed for both flights.

The pilot of N502WC had finished spraying mosquito repellant, and was traveling eastbound en route to Farm Air's base.

The pilot of N5044N had finished spraying a rice field, and was traveling southbound en route to Growers Air Service.

The pilot of N5044N was interviewed by the National Transportation Safety Board Investigator-in-Charge (IIC). The pilot reported that he could not recall his altitude, and opined it would normally have been at least 500 feet agl. He stated that he observed N502WC on his right side traveling toward him when he maneuvered the airplane and ascended. However, N502WC made contact with the undercarriage of his airplane. N502WC subsequently collided with terrain. The pilot of N5044N stated that he was losing altitude and landed off airport in an open field.

The NTSB IIC, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, and a representative from Air Tractor, Inc., responded to the accident sites. The accident sites were about a half mile from each other.

N502WC came to rest mostly intact in an organic rice field on a magnetic heading of 280 degrees. The vertical stabilizer and rudder separated from the empennage and has yet to be located. The propeller hub with propeller blades had separated and was located near the main wreckage. The top portion of the nose and the canopy for the cockpit had separated from the airplane. One of the main landing gear for N502WC remained attached to the airplane's undercarriage at its relative normal location.

N5044N landed in a plowed open field in an upright position. The airplane remained intact with the exception of the landing gear and spray equipment, which had separated from the airplane. The airplane came to rest on a 100-degree magnetic heading. Flight control continuity was established.


Both airplanes were recovered for further examination.


A 25-year-old Rio Oso man was killed when his crop duster collided with a second crop duster over a Yolo County field Saturday morning.

The Yolo County Coroner’s Office reported that Javone Logan Cowan was killed in the accident.

A second flier, who was unidentified, received relatively minor injures and went to Woodland Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, there are few other details to report of the crash that occurred at 7:45 a.m., according to the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, which turned over the investigation to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Efforts to contact those federal offices on Monday were unsuccessful.

According to the Sheriff’s Department the two crop duster airplanes crashed in the area of county roads 99E and 113, just north of Woodland and between Zamora and Knights Landing.

One pilot was pronounced dead on scene at 8:10 a.m. by Zamora volunteer firefighters who were the first to reach the second.

Other emergency workers were also requested initially to assist but later called off as more became known about the crash.

It is believed the planes are owned by Growers Air Service.

Whether the planes were carrying chemicals used to treat field crops is unknown. Initial reports from the scene indicated there was no spillage on the ground surrounding the crash. A boat was also requested to assist in getting to and from the scene, which was reported to be in a marshy area.

Source:   http://www.dailydemocrat.com

YOLO COUNTY, Calif. (KCRA) —Two crop duster planes crashed Saturday morning in rural Yolo County, killing one of the pilots.

The crop dusters crashed around 7:45 a.m. at County Road 99E and County Road 13 between Zamora and Knights Landing, the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office said. The crash happened on private property.

The other pilot survived the incident without any significant injuries, the sheriff's department said.

The crash was reported as a "mid-air collision," the sheriff's office said. However, no other details were available.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.


Source:  http://www.kcra.com

Federal officials will be investigating the reason behind the deadly mid-air collision between two small, single-engine crop dusters early Saturday morning between Zamora and Knights Landing.

Firefighters with the Zamora Volunteer Fire Department were first to arrive on the scene and declared one pilot dead at the crash site at 8:10 a.m.

A second pilot seemed unharmed and was taken to Woodland Memorial Hospital as a precaution.

Other emergency workers were also requested initially to assist, such as Woodland firefighters. However, some of those personnel were later called off as more became known about the crash.

It is believed the planes are owned by Growers Air Service.

Whether the planes were carrying chemicals used to treat field crops is unknown. Initial reports from the scene indicated there was no spillage on the ground surrounding the crash. A boat was also requested to assist in getting to and from the scene, which was reported to be in a marshy area.

The investigation has been turned over to Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Source:  http://www.dailydemocrat.com