Friday, June 23, 2017

Air Tractor Inc AT-502B, N700LA, King Ag Leasing Inc: Accident occurred June 22, 2017 in Portales, Roosevelt County, New Mexico

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

King Ag Leasing Inc:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA360
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, June 22, 2017 in Portales, NM
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502, registration: N700LA
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that, during an aerial application flight while maneuvering at the destination field in a left turn, he realized that the airplane was not going to be able to climb over transmission lines in his flight path. He added that he lowered the nose to fly under the transmission lines, but the "airspeed was still too low" and the airplane impacted an embankment, slid across the ground for about 100 ft., and nosed over.

The airplane was destroyed by the impact and a post-crash fire. 

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

An automated weather observation station, 10 nautical miles north of the accident, about 5 minutes before the accident, reported the wind as calm, temperature 102°F (39°C), dewpoint 43°F (6°C), and barometric setting of 29.77" Hg. The calculated density altitude was 8,200 ft. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration Koch Chart, when considering the surrounding temperature and field elevation, the airplane would have likely experienced a 65% decrease in the normal climb rate.

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