Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Piper PA-36-285, N132VA: Accident occurred July 29, 2017 in McCook, Red Willow County, Nebraska

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

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA453
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Saturday, July 29, 2017 in McCook, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA36, registration: N132VA
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, while maneuvering at low altitude during agricultural spraying, he noticed “some shuddering (stalling)” on multiple downwind low passes. He added that, on the fourth attempt to spray on a downwind line, he experienced “severe shuddering and loss of altitude,” so he applied full power and dumped the entirety of the aerial application product. He further added that, after dumping the load, the airplane was about 10 to 15 ft above ground level and still would not climb. The pilot reported that he continued to “pull back on the stick,” entered a right turn to avoid obstacles ahead, and the airplane “continued to [aerodynamically] stall until impact.”  

The fuselage and both wings sustained substantial damage. 

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 18 nautical miles south from the accident site reported, about the time of the accident, wind from 140° at 12 knots. The pilot reported that the wind had “picked up to 20-25 mph” and that the flightpath was “nearly directly downwind at the time of impact.” 
The pilot reported that the airplane was not equipped with a stall warning device.  

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and his exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack while maneuvering downwind during an agricultural application flight, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall at low altitude.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lincoln, Nebraska

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

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

Griff H. Malleck dba Red Willow Aviation Acft Sales
http://registry.faa.gov/N132VA

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA453

14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Saturday, July 29, 2017 in McCook, NE
Aircraft: PIPER PA36, registration: N132VA
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, while maneuvering at low altitude during agricultural spraying, he noticed "some shuddering (stalling)" on multiple downwind low passes. He added that, on the 4th attempt to spray on a downwind line, he experienced "severe shuddering and loss of altitude," so he applied full power and dumped the entirety of the aerial application product. He further added that, after dumping the load, the airplane was about 10-15 ft. above ground and still would not climb. The pilot reported that, he continued to "pull back on the stick," entered a right turn to avoid obstacles ahead, and the airplane "continued to [aerodynamically] stall until impact."

The fuselage and both wings sustained substantial damage. 

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, about the time of the accident, 18 nautical miles south from the accident site, reported wind from 140° at 12 knots. The pilot reported that the wind had "picked up to 20-25mph" and the flight path was "nearly directly downwind at the time of impact." 

The pilot reported that the airplane was not equipped with a stall warning device. 

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