Monday, July 24, 2017

Grumman-Schweizer G-164B, N48519, Bunting's Dusting Inc: Accident occurred July 23, 2017 at Bunting's Field Airport (4MD1), Berlin, Worcester County, Maryland

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Buntings Dusting Inc:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA443
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Sunday, July 23, 2017 in Berlin, MD
Aircraft: GRUMMAN ACFT ENG COR-SCHWEIZER G 164B, registration: N48519
Injuries: 1 Minor, 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 he noticed that a spray nozzle was leaking on the agricultural spray airplane. Subsequently, he performed multiple test flights over a nearby field while the head of the ground crew remained on the ground to monitor the leak. He added that he would land the airplane on the grass airstrip, adjust the nozzle, depart for another visual check, and repeat as necessary.

Following the tests and adjustments, the ground personnel told the pilot that the nozzle was not leaking and the pilot returned to land. The pilot reported that, during the landing roll, he did not see the ground personnel visually check the runway before crossing the runway on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in front of the airplane. He added that he immediately veered the airplane to the right and sped up to avoid striking the ground personnel with the propeller. The left wing struck the ATV and the ground personnel.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing leading edge and the ground personnel received minor injuries.

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

(BERLIN, MD) — No serious injuries were reported by the driver of an ATV who was struck on the ground after pilot attempts landing at an airfield in Worcester County.

The victim is identified as Drew Eckman, 23, of Berlin, MD. Eckman was transported by the pilot of the crop duster to Atlantic General Hospital where he received medical treatment for injuries sustained in the incident.

The pilot of the plane involved is identified as Christopher Bunting, 25, of Berlin, Maryland.  No charges are pending at this time.  Bunting did not sustain any injuries in the incident.

The plane involved is a 1976 Grumman Agcat biplane. The plane is owned by Ocean Aerial Ads, Inc. in Berlin.

Shortly before 11:00 a.m. today, Maryland State Police at the Berlin Barrack responded to Atlantic General Hospital for the report of a victim, Eckman, who was reportedly struck by an aircraft at Bunting’s Airfield in Berlin, Maryland.  Eckman advised police he had just completed an inspection of one of the crop dusting planes at the airfield where he was operating a Honda, Foreman all-terrain vehicle on the sole runway of Bunting’s Airfield. Eckman told police the plane, operated by Bunting, had just touched down on the runway when he was struck and thrown from the ATV.

The preliminary investigation indicates Eckman noticed the plane at the last moment as he attempted to get out of the way as he was crossing over the runway. He was subsequently struck and thrown from his ATV. Eckman advised that Bunting, the pilot of the biplane, exited and immediately transported Eckman to the hospital.

State Police notified officials from the Federal Aviation Administration who responded to the scene. There was nothing suspicious noted about the incident and at this time no charges are pending.

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