Friday, May 5, 2017

Air Tractor AT-502, N144HF: Accident occurred May 04, 2017 in Tahoka, Lynn County, Texas

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA190
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, May 04, 2017 in Tahoka, TX
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502, registration: N144HF
Injuries: 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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 4, 2017, about 1400 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-502B, N144HF, registered to Wilmington Trust Company, Wilmington, Delaware, and operated by Plains Aerial Applications, Olton, Texas, was destroyed by impact and a post-crash fire following a loss of engine power after takeoff from the Bar-T Airport (2F4), near Tahoka, Texas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. The aircraft was being operated under the provisions of Federal Code of Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the vicinity and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from 2F4, Tahoka, Texas, and its intended destination was to a local field to apply chemicals.

The pilot reported that he had flown several aerial application flights in the morning and the airplane was operating normally. Prior to the final flight of the day, while the airplane was being loaded with chemicals, he heard a noise, but all engine gauges appeared to indicate that everything was normal. He taxied down runway 35, applied power, and took off. The engine gauges indicated, ITI 8,000, propeller RPM 2,200. About 30 feet above the ground, the airplane plane started making a noise and the engine was surging. The pilot attempted to add more power, but the engine was not responding, and he tried to keep the airplane flying. Just as the pilot was going to dump the chemical load, the airplane veered to the left and hit the ground. After the pilot exited the airplane and post-crash fire ensued.

A witness at the airport, saw the airplane takeoff and fly about 1/2 way down the runway. He stated that the airplane touched down on its left wheel and became airborne again. He saw the airplane past the departure end of the runway and it was losing altitude. He then saw the left wing tilting down and the airplane impacted the ground.

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