Friday, May 19, 2017

Grumman G-164B Super Ag Cat, N6781K, operated by Air Enterprises LLC: Accident occurred July 02, 2016 in Laurel, Sussex County, Delaware

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA242
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Saturday, July 02, 2016 in Laurel, DE
Aircraft: GRUMMAN ACFT ENG COR-SCHWEIZER G-164, registration: N6781K
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 2, 2016, at 1030 eastern daylight time, a Grumman G-164B, N6781K, was substantially damaged when it nosed over following a forced landing to a farm field in Laurel, Delaware. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to the pilot and operated by Air Enterprises LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated from Johnsons Airport, Magnolia, Delaware (DE09), about 1000.

The pilot reported that he was making the last application pass about 20 to 60 feet above the ground when he heard a "loud bang" followed by a loss of engine power. He turned about 40 to 60 degrees to the left, into the wind, and set up for a forced landing in a corn field. The airplane landed on the corn and soft soil and nosed over.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multiengine land, airplane single-engine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. The pilot held a first class medical certificate and reported 6,700 total hours of flying experience, including 5,000 hours in the accident airplane's make and model.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage to the upper wing and vertical stabilizer and rudder was confirmed. Further examination revealed that the spray pump fan assembly was shattered, and pieces of the wooden fan blades penetrated the lower engine cowling. Bird feathers were also found inside the engine compartment, adjacent to the fan blade pieces. There was impact damage to the engine throttle linkage, which resulted in it bending and rotating to the idle/cutoff position.

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