Sunday, December 3, 2017

Pusher aviator felt pull of adventure: Pilot died when his ‘tractor flying machine’ crashed

Pioneering aviator Silas Christofferson in a 1911 photo.



By today’s standards, Silas Christofferson’s flight 105 years ago from Portland to Vancouver could be described as brief but spectacular.

That, unfortunately, is a pretty good description of Christofferson’s life.

We recently caught up with a team of volunteers that is building a full-scale replica of the aircraft that Christofferson flew from the roof of the Multnomah Hotel on June 11, 1912.

That aircraft was a 1912 Curtiss Pusher. It took its name from designer Glenn Curtiss and the rear-facing engine, mounted behind the pilot.

Christofferson’s flight took 12 minutes. It ended when he landed on the polo grounds at Vancouver Barracks.

Christofferson made his final flight four years later, when he was in his mid-20s. He was killed on Oct. 31, 1916 when he lost control of a new plane he was flying and crashed.

The Columbian had a front-page story, datelined Redwood City, Calif.

Piloting a tractor

“Silas Christofferson, auto racer and aviator, was killed today at this place by a 100-foot fall of his big military tractor flying machine. Mr. Christofferson was well known here in Vancouver where he located one summer trying out various flying machines. He also married a former Vancouver girl. ”

Today’s reader might trip over some of that word: tractor flying machine.

“Tractor” referred to an advance in aviation technology, said Bob Cromwell, manager of Pearson Air Museum. It’s the opposite of “pusher.”

In a tractor aircraft, the engine is in the front and the propeller “pulls the aircraft like a tractor pulls a plow,” Cromwell said. “A pusher pushes.”

That transition reflected a lot of changing technologies in that era.

“It was all about experimentation,” Cromwell said. “There was a lot of debate whether it was safer to operate with or without seat belts.”

Story and photo ➤ http://www.columbian.com

Titan Tornado II D, N2200T: Fatal accident occurred December 03, 2017 near Portage County Regional Airport (KPOV), Shalersville Township, Ohio

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland FSDO; North Olmsted, Ohio

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N2200T

Location: Ravenna, OH
Accident Number: CEN18FA045
Date & Time: 12/03/2017, 1140 EST
Registration: N2200T
Aircraft: PIPER TITAN TORNADO II D
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 3, 2017, at 1140 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Piper Titan Tornado II D, N2200T, impacted terrain, while on final approach, about 0.8 miles from runway 27 at Portage County Airport (POV), Ravenna, Ohio. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The sport pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated by the pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight departed from POV about 1110. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER, PAUL A.
Registration: N2200T
Model/Series: TITAN TORNADO II D
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes 
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: POV, 1198 ft msl
Observation Time: 1133 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C / 0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 270°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.22 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Ravenna, OH (POV)
Destination: Ravenna, OH (POV)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:

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




Friends and family said Steve Paulus loved to fly.

His brother, Rootstown Trustee Joe Paulus, said Steve built his own plane about five or six years ago, and purchased a second craft, the one he was piloting Sunday night when he crashed, within the past two months. Both planes were stored at the Portage County Airport.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol and FAA are investigating the crash of the homemade, single-engine Titan Tornado II that Steve Paulus, 60, was flying when he died in a crash Sunday evening on Nicodemus Road in Shalersville — less than a mile east of the Portage County Regional Airport.

Joe Paulus described his brother as a good pilot and said he rode in his brother’s craft a few times. He remembers talking to his brother’s flight instructor at the FAA, who described Steve’s knowledge of airplanes as “instinctual.” One time, the instructor said, Steve ran into cross winds, and immediately knew what kind of corrective action to take. “There are some things you can’t teach,” he remembers the instructor saying.

A U.S. Air Force veteran, Paulus was a trained electrician who at one time owned Paulus Electric in Rootstown. He used to help maintain and repair the Record-Courier’s presses when they were located in Ravenna, former pressroom superintendent and current R-C Circulation Director Gary Hurst said.

Paulus also was an electrician for Portage County Water Resources from 2003 to 2011 said JoAnn Townend, director of the county’s Internal Services Department. He also did some electrical work on her home years ago, she recalled.

“He was such a nice guy, very easygoing,” Townend said. “Very laid-back and mannerly.”

Paulus most recently was working as an electrical technology instructor at the Portage Lakes Career Center in Uniontown. A secretary for Superintendent Benjamin Moore acknowledged Paulus worked there but said Monday the school would have no comment.

Paulus was born in Akron and had seven brothers. He was a Rootstown High School graduate, and he and Kim, his wife of 39 years, raised two sons in the township.

Joe Paulus said his brother was a skilled electrician who learned his trade while serving in the Air Force. In addition to his business and work for the county, he also taught at Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna for a few years before moving on to the Portage Lakes Career Center two years ago. When a former Maplewood student called him looking for help, Steve told the young man that he’d be there in 10 minutes.

“That’s the kind of things he did,” he said. “Quiet, not a lot of fanfare, the kind of things people do that impact lives.”

North Coast Lite Flyers, a Northeastern Ohio-based ultralight and light plane sport club, sent an email message to members informing them of Paulus’ death “with deep regret and sadness.”

“Steve was a thoughtful and friendly flying companion,” the club wrote in the email.


Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.record-courier.com

Stephen Paulus at MAPS Air Museum earlier this year with Experimental Aircraft Association chapter member Homer Lucas (left). 


Stephen Paulus at MAPS Air Museum earlier this year. 


Maybe it was his love for technology or his years working on airfield lighting fields while he was in the U.S. Air Force.

Whatever it was, Stephen Paulus couldn’t get his head out of the clouds.

“His passion for flying was infectious,” said Chris Mars, a fellow pilot and friend of Paulus' for the last three years. “He was just so fun to be around. I was shocked and saddened to hear what happened.”

The 60-year old Kent State alum was found dead Sunday night, after an apparent plane crash in the backyard of a home in Shalersville Township.

Residents of the home found Paulus in his 2017 Titan Tornado II D aircraft hours after the crash occurred. 

“Our initial report says the pilot was just flying out enjoying his day,” said Sgt. Scott Louive from the Ravenna Division of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Now, close friends and family grieve as they try to understand how this happened to Paulus, the man with snow-white hair, a telltale smile and a wicked drive to fly.

“He died doing what he loved to do, flying his plane,” said David Bedard, a cousin, in a social media post.

Paulus was an experienced pilot who was a regular at the Portage County Regional Airport, his “home away from home” when he wasn’t at his Rootstown residence.

“(Paulus) was a really nice guy and was always around here," said Jeff Cales, the owner of Jeff Cales Custom Aviation, an aircraft refinishing and painting company located within the port. He helped paint one of Paulus’ former planes.

Paulus volunteered at nearly every event and was heavily involved in the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter he co-founded with Mars.

“If someone was new, he would give them pointers,” Mars said. “He would always give them a hand. He was just like that.”

When talking about Paulus, Mars often tells others about the Young Eagles Flights, a yearly event where pilots can give young aviation enthusiasts a ride in an airplane.

“He would have his plane stationed on the ground (before the flight), and he would walk them around and show them how every part works,” Mars said. “He was a great volunteer.”

Paulus began teaching at Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna, Ohio, before he taught at Portage Lakes Career Center, or PLCC, in 2015. He taught electrical technology, a skill he learned during his time in the Army working on voltage lines in Germany and the U.S.

He was known as being a hands-on teacher who rarely had students sit at desks.

Travis Murdock, a robotics student at PLCC, describes Paulus as strict, but in a good way, with a sarcastic sense of humor. While he never had him for class, the two would get coffee together every morning before school.

“He was kind and caring," Murdock said. "He had a big personality, but that is what made him extraordinary. Like I said, I wasn’t his student, … but I do know he was knowledgeable and consistent in his trade, and that made him a great teacher.”  

Paulus talked about his planes all the time in the classroom. When students were not working on assignments, he would often show the class the planes he wanted or the flight routes he took that week.

“He seriously flew every weekend,” said Matt Macerol, a junior high school student in the electrical technology class. “ ... It’s strange, him not being in the classroom. We always had an inside joke that he would be immortal and live out all of us. It’s very shocking.”

PLCC declined to comment on his death, and his immediate family was not available for comment.


Story and photo gallery ➤  http://www.kentwired.com









A small plane crashed near a home in Portage County after take-off at a local airport.

The crash occurred at 7979 Nicodemus Rd. in Shalersville Township, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The OSHP pronounced the operator of the plane dead at the scene.

A former owner of the plane confirmed Stephen Paulus, 60, of Rootstown as the pilot. Paulus was a Kent State alumni and veteran of the U.S. Air Force. 

On the Portage Lakes Career Center website, where Paulus was employed as an electrical technology instructor, his profile says his hobby was “flying his own airplane” and he “..built his first airplane himself, and flew it for 5 years.”

“Our initial report says the pilot was just flying out enjoying his day,” said Sgt. Scott Louive from the Ravenna division of the OSHP.

No passengers were on the aircraft. EMS and FAA were also on the scene.

The plane is believed to have crashed hours earlier, but Portage County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call from residents of the home around 5:40 p.m.

The plane dropped down from the air, hitting the side of the deck and then veering off into the grass.

The single-engine plane, which officers described as a “home-built” plane, was taking off from Portage County airport.

Paulus attained his Sport Pilot certificate from the Federal Aviation Association on Oct. 6, 2010. According to his record, he did not meet all of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s requirements — the minimum cabin safety standards.

The plane, a 2017 Titan Tornado II D, is classified as an amanter-built, experimental aircraft. It is still licensed to its former owner, Paul Piper, of Waynesfield, Ohio.

The OSHP said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Story and photo gallery ➤ http://www.kentwired.com



SHALERSVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A plane crashed into the back deck of a home on Nicodemus Road in Shalersville Township, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol. 


Officials say they do not know exactly when the crash happened, but the family living at 7978 Nicodemus Road noticed the pane around 5:39 p.m. Sunday. The crash reportedly happened while the family was not home. They noticed the plane through the kitchen window after they had been home for awhile.


Authorities have identified the pilot as Stephen Paulus, 60, of Rootstown.


The single-engine aircraft had only Paulus inside, who died as a result of the crash.


He left flying westbound from the Portage County Regional Airport in his 2017 Titan Tornado II fixed wing single-engine plane when the plane struck a wooden deck attached to a private residence.


The home is about two-tenths of a mile away from the Portage County Regional Airport. Initial reports indicate the pilot took off from the airport, was flying around enjoying the day and heading back to the airport when the plane crashed.


Paulus was an electrical technology instructor at Portage Lakes Career Center and an owner of an electrical contracting company that he started in 1985. He began teaching at the Portage Lakes Career Center in 2015 after serving in the U.S. Air Force where went to Germany, Nevada and Texas.


His hobby revolved around flying his own airplane. He built his first airplane himself and flew it for 5 years, according to the Portage Lakes Career Center website.


Portage County sheriff's department and fire department were called to the scene. EMS and the FAA are also on scene.


The Portage County Coroner's office does not yet have an official cause of death. A full autopsy will be performed Monday morning.


Story, video and photo gallery ➤ http://www.news5cleveland.com




SHALERSVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- When you live across the street from an airport, you get used to hearing planes flying over your house.

But when a plane crashed in their neighbor's yard in Shalersville Township on Sunday, Dave and Carrie Shanley didn't hear anything.

The couple lives across the street from the Portage County Regional Airport.

"I was home and did not hear a thing," Dave Shanley said. "It's very quite out here. Absolutely this is quite a surprise to me."

"My daughter and I were coming home from a choir concert that she had at the high school and we saw all of the lights and knew that something had happened," Carrie Shanley said.

"We've had balloons land in our yard, but never an airplane crash," Dave Shanley said.

Early Monday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol released the identity of the pilot killed in the crash as Stephen Paulus, 60, of Rootstown.

"Once we arrived on scene we observe that it was a single engine airplane crash and there was one occupant that was still inside the airplane," Sgt. Scott Louive, Ohio State Highway Patrol, said.

"The airplane from what we saw had actually dropped on the backside of the property. It did not strike the residence," Louive said.

"What it did was struck the back deck," he said. "The landing gear on the one side hit and it caused it to tilt forward and it struck the ground at the time."

Louive said nobody was home at the time of the crash.

"The homeowners arrived home and just happened to noise whenever they were in the backside of their home," he said. "They were inside their kitchen when they saw it."

Because nobody was home at the time of the crash, Louive said it's possible that the plane had been there for some time before it was discovered. The Ohio State Highway Patrol was called to the scene around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Louive said the family didn't know the pilot.

"They're doing pretty well at this point, however, they are emotional considering what has happened," Louive said of the family that discovered the crash.

It was believed that Paulus took off from the Portage County Regional Airport.

He "was just flying around and enjoying the day and may have been back en route to the airport," Louive said.

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration did respond to the scene.

Louive said it would take a while before a full report was ready. He could not say what might have caused the crash.

Story and video ➤ http://fox8.com




PORTAGE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) -  Authorities have released the name of the pilot who was killed when he crashed his small plane into the backyard of a Portage County home on Sunday.

Investigators say 60-year-old Stephen Paulus, of Rootstown, died when his single-engine airplane crashed into the back deck of a home on Nicodermus Road in Shalersville Township after taking off from Portage County Regional Airport.

Sgt. Scott Louive from the Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers said the family discovered the crashed plane in their backyard around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

"It's believed that the pilot took off from the Portage County airport," says Sgt. Louive. "He was just flying around enjoying the day, and may have been back en route to the airport."

Officials believe that because of the debris field, the plane crashed straight down and did not hit ground at an angle.

"From the debris we saw back there, it doesn't appear it was coming from any angle. It appears that it just dropped straight down," said Sgt. Louive.

Local and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FAA and NTSB, are continuing the investigation into the circumstances leading up to the crash.

The Portage County Coroner is expected to perform an autopsy on the pilot Monday to determine the official cause of death.

Story, video and photo gallery ➤ http://www.cleveland19.com





PORTAGE CO., Ohio (WKBN) – A pilot is dead after a single-engine airplane crashed into a Portage County house Sunday evening.

The crash happened about 5:30 p.m. Sunday in Shalersville Township, near Ravenna.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 60-year-old Stephen Paulus, of Rootstown, was piloting a home-built plane when it came down in someone’s backyard, crashing into a deck.

No one was in the house at the time of the crash. Paulus was the only person on board the aircraft.

“It is believed the pilot took off from the Portage County Airport and that he was just flying around enjoying the day and may have been back en route to the airport,” said Sgt. Scott Louive.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Portage County Sheriff’s Officer were back on the scene Monday morning.

An autopsy is planned for Monday.

Story, video and photo gallery ➤ http://wkbn.com

Air Tractor AT-502B, registered to GB Aerial Applications Inc and operated by King Ag Aviation Inc under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight, N502G: Fatal accident occurred October 24, 2017 in Olton, Lamb County, Texas

Joshua Kyle Hollis, 23, died December 3rd, 2017 at the University Hospital in Lubbock, Texas from injuries sustained in an airplane crash on October 24th, 2017.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas
Air Tractor; Olney, Texas
Hartzell Propellers; Piqua, Ohio
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Ottawa, Ontario

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

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


http://registry.faa.gov/N502G


First flight:  Joshua Kyle Hollis
His love for airplanes and flying were legendary from his days as a young child.

Location: Olton, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA019
Date & Time: 10/24/2017, 0820 CDT
Registration: N502G
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On October 24, 2017, about 0820 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-502B airplane, N502G, impacted a field about 5 miles west of Olton, Texas. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the airplane was destroyed by a postimpact fire. The airplane was registered to GB Aerial Applications Inc., and operated by King Ag Aviation Inc., under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight had departed Fairview Field Airport (XA05), Sudan, Texas at 0748.

Multiple witnesses observed the airplane flying overhead but only one witness observed the accident sequence. The witnesses reported that the airplane was flying north over highway 70 and made a left turn towards the west about 300 ft above ground level (agl). During the left turn the airplane descended, impacted a field, and burst into flames. A large white trailer in the field blocked his view of the airplane as it impacted the ground, so he did not see the final impact, but he observed everything up to that point. He did not see any smoke or fire coming from the airplane during the accident sequence. 

The pilot was transported via helicopter to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas. 


Joshua Kyle Hollis

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 23, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification:  Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/15/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/23/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1697 hours (Total, all aircraft), 397 hours (Total, this make and model) 

At the time of the accident the pilot was employed by King Ag Aviation, the operator of the airplane. 

A review of the pilot's logbook revealed he had received a high-performance airplane endorsement on February 11, 2016. The pilot accumulated 303.5 hours in an Air Tractor 502, registration N89MG, between July 16, 2017, and August 15, 2017. He accumulated 93.6 hours in the accident airplane between August 25, 2017, and September 10, 2017. The final logbook entry was dated October 19, 2017, for a flight review in a Cessna 172. The flight review included 1.1 hours, 2 simulated instrument approaches, 4 day landings, and 4 night landings. 

The pilot was employed by a different agricultural aerial application company from March 2016 to June 2017, during which time he flew an Air Tractor AT-301 airplane and an AT-400 airplane conducting aerial application operations. The owner of the company described the pilot's abilities as "OK" and that the pilot was terminated for insubordination related to his duties as a company pilot. Another company pilot reported to the owner that the accident pilot was known to make very tight turns after a spray pass. The accident pilot was reportedly cautioned by the owner and senior company pilots about making tight turns. The owner also stated that on one occasion the accident pilot departed with his windscreen obscured by frost and during the takeoff the airplane almost collided with a stationary airplane on the ground.



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: AIR TRACTOR INC
Registration: N502G
Model/Series: AT 502B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1999
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 502B-0591
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/10/2017,
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 7917.2 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt&Whitney Canada
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-34AG
Registered Owner: G B AERIAL APPLICATIONS INC
Rated Power: 750 hp
Operator: King Ag Aviation Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137) 

On October 10, 2017, a 100-hour inspection was completed at an airframe total time of 7,917.2 hours. The maintenance logbook entry for this inspection stated that the header fuel tank was removed and replaced with a new tank from Air Tractor. The tank was tested for leaks and no defects were noted. 



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPVW, 3374 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 26 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0815 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 93°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 330°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.49 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C / -3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: SUDAN, TX (XA05)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: SUDAN, TX (XA05)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0748 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 34.188611, -102.235833 (est)

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the airplane came to rest facing south and a post impact fire consumed most of the fuselage and the inboard sections of the wings (figure 1). The impact marks at the accident site indicated that the airplane impacted the ground in a nose-low, vertical attitude, and then came to rest upright. The engine was buried in the mud and only one propeller blade was visible.


Figure 1 - Front right side of the main wreckage

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the forward portion of the fuselage, including the engine compartment, was crushed aft. The leading edges of both wings were crushed aft from the leading edge to the main spar along the entire wing span. The outboard portions of both wings exhibited chordwise crushing and buckling. The inboard sections of the wings containing the fuel tanks were consumed by fire. 

The pilot's seat frame was found intact and connected to the fuselage seat rails. All mounting points of the 4-point pilot harness remained installed. The harness webbing had been consumed by fire, but the seat belt buckle assemblies were found in the wreckage and were unclasped. The pilot's helmet did not exhibit any abnormal wear or damage. 

According to the FAA inspector the empennage and associated control surfaces had been in their respective positions and intact before recovery. Both elevators remained attached to the horizontal stabilizers and the trim tabs remained in place on the elevators. 

All flight control surfaces were found in their respective positions within the wreckage. The flight control cables and components were traced through the wreckage to the fullest extent possible. The elevator and rudder controls were found to be continuous except for the portions of the controls that were consumed by fire. The aileron controls exhibited multiple tension overload separations and some portions were consumed by fire. There were no preimpact flight control anomalies found that would have precluded normal operation. 

A portion of the flap actuator assembly was found in the wreckage. The flap actuator shaft was extended to a point that corresponded to 22° of flap extension. 

The firewall forward portion of the fuselage had separated from the remainder of the fuselage and exhibited rearward crushing signatures. The engine and propeller remained attached to the engine mount and firewall and sustained impact and fire damage. The cockpit engine control quadrant was found with significant fire damaged, but all three push-pull cables remained attached. The remaining length of these cables was traced to the extent possible with no anomalies noted. The preimpact position of the engine controls could not be determined.

The propeller spinner exhibited torsional deformation and spiral scoring of the propeller piston was noted. The propeller assembly was found mostly attached to the engine's propeller flange and two of the three blades remained attached. The third blade was separated and found in the wreckage debris. The propeller blades were labeled A, B, and C for report identification purposes only. Blade A fractured from the hub assembly and its tip also fractured and separated. Blade B was bent forward and had rotated in the clamp toward a high pitch setting. Blade C exhibited slight bending/twisting and leading-edge gouges. All 3 of the propeller blades exhibited chordwise abrasions near the leading edges. All 3 of the propeller counterweights remained in a similar position. None of the blades were bent aft to any remarkable degree. 



Medical And Pathological Information

The pilot died in the hospital on December 3, 2017. The pilot's mother stated that the pilot died due to health complications as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident. 

Additional Information

AT-502B Airplane Flight Manual - AGRICULTURAL FLYING

"Pull-ups: Prior to pull-up apply additional power smoothly. Abrupt pull-ups should be avoided since excessive speed is lost which reduces turn performance. When making pull-ups over wires avoid starting to bank too soon.

Turns: The previous training and experience will influence the operator flying the AT-502B. All conventional types of turns may be performed in the AT-502B. Flaps may be used as a turning aid providing small deflections are used (5° to 8°). The usual method of using flaps is to make the pull-up and initial bank with flaps retracted. As the airplane is being banked to turn back into the field touch the flap switch briefly and let off a little back pressure on the stick, as the flaps cause a slight pitch up tendency. Continue the turn, and as you line up for your pass, retract the flaps. Make coordinated turns. Use the slip indicator as a means of determining whether or not you are carrying bottom rudder. The AT-502B has excellent stall characteristics and if the airplane is inadvertently placed in an impending stall situation, it is only necessary to relax some back pressure on the stick to make recovery, and little altitude is lost, providing the turn is coordinated. A stall from a skidding turn will result in the nose dropping sharply with a significant loss of altitude."

Flap Extension in Agricultural Turns

According to the airplane manufacturer, extending more than the recommended 5° to 8° of flaps in a turn allows for a tighter turn as it slows the airplane faster and increases the maximum lift coefficient of the wing. In this situation the airplane has reduced pitch stability and the effectiveness of the elevators and rudder is reduced by spoiling the airflow over the control surfaces in some attitudes. Also, the airplane's lower airspeed reduces the amount of inertia/momentum available to be used for recovery from any inflight upset or loss of control.

Airplane owner statement

The airplane owners stated that the typical procedures for this type of flight was to produce a line of smoke from the airplane's smoker during the turns between spray passes. A pilot would use the position of the smoke to determine the wind direction and then plan the next flight path. The owners used the pilot's previous flight worksheets to estimate the elapsed time to complete each turn after a spray pass. They determined that the pilot would have had to make 8 to 10 second turns between spray passes in order to match the times reported on the worksheets. They added that a normal turn should take about 30 seconds, so they think the pilot was doing something to make his turns a lot faster and a lot tighter. A hammerhead type turn is a maneuver pilots can use to decrease turnaround times. Also, the use of flaps in a turn is up to pilot preference. Some pilots make slow flat turns with no flaps. Some pilots make quick turns with flaps extended, although it's not a recommended practice.

Garmin aera500 GPS data

A Garmin aera500 handheld GPS was found in the wreckage and was sent to the NTSB Recorder Laboratory for download. A successful unit download yielded accident flight data and data from several previous flights.

Data from the handheld GPS revealed that the airplane had circled over the field being treated then made 4 east-west spray passes near the north side of the target field. The final data point was captured on the east side of the target field and heading westbound. The data did not reveal the very end of the flight where the airplane was flying northbound near the accident site, as reported by witnesses. Figure 2 shows the accident flight track with the accident site and the final recorded data point, which was at 08:12:33 CDT, at 189 ft agl, and 95 knots. The other data points are noted in coordinated universal time (UTC) and altitude in mean sea level (msl).


Figure 2 – Flight Track Overlay Google Earth

The GPS data revealed that four turns were 24 seconds, 18 seconds, 22 seconds, and 18 seconds for an average of 20.5 seconds. The standard turnaround for a spray pass in an AT-502B is about 30 seconds. The peak altitude in the four turns was 369 ft agl, 402 ft agl, 422 ft agl, and 500 ft agl. The peak altitude during a standard turnaround is 250 to 300 ft agl.
Joshua Kyle Hollis , 23, passed away on December 03, 2017, at University of Texas Hospital-Lubbock in Lubbock, TX. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Holland Funeral Directors-Tupelo.


Obituary

Tupelo-Joshua Kyle Hollis, 23, died Sunday, December 3, 2017 at the University Hospital in Lubbock, Texas from injuries sustained in an airplane crash on October 24, 2017. Kyle, an adventurous soul avid outdoorsman, was born in Tupelo on March 8, 1994. He graduated from Tupelo Christian Prepatory School in 2012 where he was on the swimming team. Kyle furthered his education at Hinds Community College in Raymond receiving a Technical Degree in Aviation Mechanics in 2014. His love for airplanes and flying were legendary from his days as a young child. Active in Boy Scouting at Harrisburg Baptist Church growing up, he achieved the Eagle Scout Award. Kyle enjoyed rock climbing and repelling. A professional Ag pilot, he was contracted with King Agricultural Aviation in the Lubbock, Texas area at the time of his untimely death. Kyle was a gentle young man who connected with God’s creation and made a difference in the lives of many in his short earthly pilgrimage.

A service celebrating his life will be held at Noon Thursday, December 8, 2017 at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Bro. Roger Smith, pastor of Bissell Baptist Church where he recently attended, officiating. Private burial will be in the Lebanon Baptist Church Cemetery in Tippah County. Visitation will be from 5 PM-8 PM today and from 10 AM-service time at Noon Thursday, all at Holland-Tupelo Chapel, which is honored to be serving the Hollis family.

Kyle leaves behind his mom and dad, Joe and Joann Ralph Hollis of Tupelo; his brother, Joseph Chad Hollis and his wife, Hanna Lynn Hollis of Forth Stewart, GA.; his sister, Melissa Whitten and her husband, Troy of Slate Springs, MS.. his nieces, Josie Lynn, Hanna and Dakota; his grandmother, Linda Ralph of Ripley and his great grandmother, Jessie Mae Newby of Ripley. numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, his beloved dog, Andy and a wide circle of friends all over the country. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, J.R. Ralph , his paternal grandparents, Franklin G. and Maggie S. Hollis.

Pallbearers will be his cousins: Kevin, Chris, Brandon and Chase Ralph, Mart Murphree, Jay and Franklin Hollis and his friends, Dustin Tutor, Luke Riley and Andrew Griffin. 

Memorials may be made to the Trail Life Program c/o Harrisburg Baptist Church, 4695 Cliff Gookin Blvd, Tupelo, MS. 38801. Condolences may be e mailed tohollandfuneraldirectors@comcast.net The service may be viewed at hollandfuneraldirectors.com/Livestreaming at Noon Thursday and for 60 days thereafter.


http://www.hollandfuneraldirectors.com



OLTON, TX (KCBD) - Family confirms that 23-year-old Joshua Kyle Hollis of Tupelo, MS has died after a crop duster he was piloting crashed in Lamb County back in October. 

According to The Olton Enterprise, at least two people saw the single-engine crop duster crash into a field near the intersection of US 70 and FM 1842.

Witnesses say the plane was over a field west of FM1842 and was climbing when they saw black smoke. They said the plane came to rest in a field on the east side of FM 1842. The pilot was able to get out of the plane, which was on fire.

The witnesses said the pilot spoke to them and was concerned about his legs.

Hollis was taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock with critical injuries. He died from his injuries on December 3rd.

Family members posted in the Prayers for Kyle Facebook group, saying, "Thank you for every prayer. Kyle is enjoying a new body in Heaven now. He has been such a joy to us."

Story and photos ➤  http://www.kcbd.com



The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

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

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

Registered to G B Aerial Applications Inc
Operated by King Ag Aviation Inc

http://registry.faa.gov/N502G



Location: Olton, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA019
Date & Time: 10/24/2017, 0820 CDT
Registration: N502G
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On October 24, 2017, about 0820 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-502B airplane, N502G, impacted a field about 5 miles west of Olton, Texas. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the airplane was destroyed by a postimpact fire. The airplane was registered to G B Aerial Applications Inc., and operated by King Ag Aviation Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight had departed Fairview Field Airport (XA05), Sudan, Texas.

The airplane's owner stated that the airplane was being utilized by another operator, King Ag Aviation, who was the pilot's employer.

Local law enforcement stated that multiple witnesses observed the accident sequence. The witnesses reported that the airplane was flying north over highway 70 and made a left turn towards west. During the left turn the airplane descended, impacted a field and burst into flames. The pilot exited the airplane and was transported via helicopter to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the airplane came to rest facing south and was mostly consumed by a postimpact fire (figure 1). The engine was buried in the mud and only one propeller blade was visible.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AIR TRACTOR INC
Registration: N502G
Model/Series: AT 502B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No 
Operator: King Ag Aviation 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: KPVW, 3374 ft msl
Observation Time: 0815 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 26 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C / -3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 330°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.49 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: SUDAN, TX (XA05)
Destination: SUDAN, TX (XA05)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  34.188611, -102.235833 (est)

The wreckage was retained for further examination.