Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Rockwell S-2R Thrush Commander, N5022X: Fatal accident occurred August 22, 2017 in Calipatria, Imperial County, California

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Diego, California
Farm Aviation Incorporated; Brawley, California

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

NTSB Identification: ANC17FA047
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 22, 2017 in Calipatria, CA
Aircraft: ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL S 2R, registration: N5022X
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 22, 2017, about 1100 Pacific daylight time, a Rockwell International S2R agricultural airplane, N5022X, was destroyed when it collided with terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering, about 8.5 miles east of Calipatria, California. The airplane was registered to the Bank of Utah and was being operated by Farm Aviation Inc. as a visual flight rules (VFR) aerial application flight, under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137, when the accident occurred. The certificated commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at an unimproved dirt strip, about 4 miles from the accident location, at about 1050 and was a local flight for aerial application.

According to the owner of Farm Aviation Inc., this was the pilot's second chemical load flight of the day. The first flight originated from Brawley Municipal Airport (KBWC), Brawley, California, about 1020.

According to a witness located about 100 yards from the accident location, the accident airplane completed an agricultural spray pass from west to east. As the airplane approached his position, the airplane began a right turn to turn around and re-enter the spray area. Following a slight right turn, the airplane rolled wings level before what would typically be a left turn back to the field. When the wings were rolled level, at an estimated altitude of between 150 ft above ground level (agl) and 200 ft agl, the nose dropped and the airplane impacted the field in near vertical attitude. A postimpact fire ensued, which incinerated a majority of the airplane's fuselage, left wing, and empennage. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), along with another NTSB investigator reached the accident site on the afternoon of August 23. The wreckage was in an alfalfa field at an elevation of about 20 ft below sea level. 

Following the initial impact, the fuselage separated from the engine and came to rest about 20 ft north of the engine. The airplane impacted the terrain in a nose-down, near vertical attitude. All of the airplane's major components were located at the wreckage site. 

The closest weather reporting facility was the Imperial County Airport (KIPL), about 20 miles southeast of the accident site. At 1053, a METAR from KIPL was reporting, in part: Wind, calm; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, clear; temperature, 98°F; dew point, 60°F; altimeter, 29.90 inches of mercury.

The airplane was equipped with a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 series engine. A detailed examination is pending.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

CALIPATRIA, Calif. - UPDATE: The Imperial County Fire Department and Imperial County Sheriff's Office have confirmed the identity of the person who died in a small plane Tuesday.

Steven Turner, 40, of Mexicali, died in the crash. Only one person was on board. Officials say Turner was working at the time, crop dusting.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are now investigating. No word yet on what caused the crash. 

A small plane went up in flames after crashing into an agricultural field in Imperial County on Tuesday around noon. Authorities are still investigating the incident.

Imperial County and Calipatria firefighters, as well as paramedics, responded to the field located between the Yocum and Butters Roads east of Calipatria. According to authorities, the incident was reported by a person who was near the area.

Fire Marshal Battalion Angel Morales said the person reporting the incident said there was no explosion or smoke before the plane crashed.

So far authorities have not confirmed whether the pilot died at the time of impact or whether there were other injured people. However, Sheriff patrols arrived as well as the forensic team.

The plane appeared to be a field-spraying aircraft, but authorities have not confirmed this because the investigation continues.

Original article can be found here ➤

No comments: