Thursday, March 1, 2018

Rockwell International S-2R, N4886X: Accident occurred July 27, 2017 at Telfair–Wheeler Airport (KMQW), McRae, Telfair County, Georgia

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: McRae, GA
Accident Number: GAA17CA459
Date & Time: 07/27/2017, 1100 EDT
Registration: N4886X
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 


The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, during an aerial application flight, after he had completed two spray passes, he received a call from his ground crew, which informed him that he did not have enough chemicals to complete the aerial application.

Because of his heavy load, the position of his load pad, and the slope in the runway, the pilot chose to land with a tail wind.

The pilot reported that he approached with a higher than normal airspeed and touched down about 1,500 ft from the approach end of runway 21. As the tailwheel came down, the airplane rolled over a depression in the runway, which unloaded the weight on the landing gear, and the airplane veered to the left. The pilot was unable to regain directional control before the airplane departed the runway and over an embankment.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing.

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

The automated weather observation station located about 14 nautical miles northwest of the accident site reported that, about 5 minutes before the accident, the wind was from 50° at 6 knots. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll in tailwind conditions.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Sloped/uneven terrain - Effect on operation
Tailwind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 48, Male
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 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/27/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/01/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 11942 hours (Total, all aircraft), 636 hours (Total, this make and model), 11800 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 75 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 35 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N4886X
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 2087R
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/17/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 7860 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 8875.31 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Walter
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: M601E-11
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 750 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  Agricultural Aircraft (137)
Operator Does Business As: Middle Georgia Aviation, Inc.
Operator Designator Code: 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEZM, 306 ft msl
Observation Time: 1455 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 300°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 1700 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 19°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots, 50°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: COCHRAN, GA (48A)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: McRae, GA (MQW)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1040 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 202 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5000 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Straight-in 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 32.094444, -82.880556 (est)

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