Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Air Tractor AT-502B, N421CA, registered to Custom Air Inc and operated by Custom Air Inc: Accident occurred July 26, 2017 in Harrold, Hughes County, South Dakota

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Location: Harrold, SD 
Accident Number: CEN17CA294
Date & Time: 07/26/2017, 1530 CDT
Registration: N421CA
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

Analysis 

The pilot of an agricultural airplane reported that he planned to apply an herbicide and test the spray system at maximum pressure at a specified airspeed. He added that a ground tractor was also in the field applying the same chemical. During the flight, he saw the tractor and passed over it between about 50 and 100 ft above ground level (agl). While spraying at 10 ft agl, he noted pressure, output, airspeed, and ground speed. At the end of the field, he climbed and made a left, 180° turn for another pass. The pilot reported that he "lost focus" outside of the airplane while looking at the spray results, and when he noticed the tractor, it was too late; the airplane's wheel collided with the tractor. Examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the fuselage.

The tractor driver reported that he heard someone call him on the radio and that he answered the pilot on the radio and saw the airplane coming "directly at him, very low." The tractor driver heard and felt the impact and was knocked from his seat by the collision. The tractor driver then called his supervisor for help. The tractor driver added that his supervisor and another ground sprayer had been "buzzed" by the pilot before. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper attempt at a low-pass maneuver, which resulted in a collision with a tractor. 

Findings

Aircraft
Altitude - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Intentional act - Pilot (Cause)
Incorrect action selection - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Ground vehicle - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Miscellaneous/other (Defining event) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 33
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/10/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AIR TRACTOR INC
Registration: N421CA
Model/Series: AT 502B B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 502B-2672
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines:
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT:
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: CUSTOM AIR INC
Rated Power:
Operator: CUSTOM AIR INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPIR
Observation Time: 1553 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 40 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 11°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots/ 17 knots, 40°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting:  30.07 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Harrold, SD
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Harrold, SD
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 44.515000, -99.769722 (est)

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rapid City, South Dakota

Aviation Accident Factual Report  - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Registered Owner: Custom Air Inc

Operator: Custom Air Inc

http://registry.faa.gov/N421CA

NTSB Identification: CEN17CA294
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 26, 2017 in Harrold, SD
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B, registration: N421CA
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 of an agricultural airplane reported that he planned to apply a herbicide and test the spray system at maximum pressure at a specified airspeed. He added that a ground tractor was also in the field applying the same chemical. During the flight, he saw the tractor and passed over it at 50 to 100 ft. While spraying at 10 ft agl, he noted pressure, output, airspeed, and ground speed. At the end of the field, he climbed and made a left 180-degree turn for another pass. The pilot reported that he "lost focus" outside of the airplane, while looking at the spray results and when he noticed the tractor, it was too late; the airplane's wheel collided with the tractor. Examination of the airplane found substantial damage to the fuselage.

The driver of the tractor reported that he heard someone call him on the radio, he answered the pilot on the radio and saw the airplane coming "directly at him, very low." The tractor operator heard and felt the impact and was knocked from his seat by the collision. The tractor driver then called his supervisor for help. The tractor driver added that his supervisor and another ground sprayer had been "buzzed" by the pilot before.

No comments: