Saturday, April 29, 2017

Air Tractor AT-602, N604RH: Fatal accident occurred April 28, 2017 near Hollis Municipal Airport (O35), Harmon County, Oklahoma

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 
Air Tractor Inc.; Olney, Texas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report -  National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA170
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, April 28, 2017 in Hollis, OK
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 602, registration: N604RH
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 April 28, 2017, about 1300 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-602 airplane, N604RH, impacted terrain while on final approach for runway 35 at the Hollis Municipal Airport (O35), Hollis, Oklahoma. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to the pilot and operated by Gray Ag Air as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from O35 about 1200.

According to the pilot's colleague, the pilot was returning from an application flight at the time of the accident. The pilot had treated a field about 4 miles northwest of the airport during the accident flight.

A witness reported hearing the airplane while he was working about three blocks south of the airport. He subsequently looked up and observed the airplane approaching the airport. Nothing looked unusual about the flight path, attitude, or appearance of the airplane at that time. However, he noted that an unusual noise came from the airplane. He was unsure of the exact nature of the noise, but thought that it was either associated with the engine itself or with the propeller changing pitch.

The airplane impacted a wheat field about 127 yards south of the runway 35 threshold. The main wreckage, which consisted of the fuselage, vertical stabilizer, and right horizontal stabilizer, came to rest about 27 yards north of the initial impact. The propeller had separated from the engine and was partially imbedded into the ground at the initial impact point. The engine had separated from the engine mount. The fuselage came to rest upright on a southwesterly heading. The wings were inverted and located adjacent to the fuselage. The forward fuselage and center wing section had been partially consumed by a postimpact fire. The empennage remained attached to the aft fuselage, with exception of the left horizontal stabilizer which had separated. The control surfaces remained attached to the airframe, with exception of the left elevator which had separated. The separated and fragmented components were located within the debris path. Examination of the flight control system did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction.

Postaccident examinations of the engine and propeller are planned.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

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