Saturday, August 18, 2018

Runway Excursion: Aero Commander S-2R, N5521X; accident occurred August 15, 2018 at Rolling Hills Airport (3MN4), Westbrook, Cottonwood County, Minnesota

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Minneapolis, Minnesota

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/N5521X

Location: Westbrook, MN
Accident Number: CEN18LA332
Date & Time: 08/15/2018, 1145 CDT
Registration: N5521X
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER S2R
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Runway excursion
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On August 15, 2018, about 1145 central daylight time, an Aero Commander S2R, N5521X, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion on takeoff from runway 9 at the Rolling Hills Airport (3MN4), Westbrook, Minnesota. The operator stated that the airplane did not climb as expected after takeoff and it encountered a corn field off the end of the runway. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Olsem Aerial Application Service as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The local flight was not operated on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot informed a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that he had experienced a loss of engine power at rotation during takeoff. The pilot reported that there were two small rises along the turf runway. The airplane normally became airborne at the second rise. The accident takeoff proceeded normally past the first rise. However, as the airplane approached the second rise, the tail of the airplane dropped to the ground. The pilot perceived a loss of engine power and began to drop the application load immediately afterward. The operator stated that the airplane was fueled before the accident flight and was within the maximum gross weight limitation at the time of the accident.

The airstrip was oriented east-west and the accident takeoff was preformed toward the east. A soybean field was located immediately off the end of the runway, followed by a two-lane roadway, and a corn field. The soybean field exhibited evidence of the application load being dropped as the airplane passed over but appeared to be otherwise undisturbed. The airplane continued across the intervening two-lane roadway and traveled about 300 ft into the corn field, leveling the existing 8-foot corn crop, before nosing over and coming to rest. A postaccident examination conducted by FAA inspectors did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a loss of engine power or a failure or malfunction of the flight control system.

The airplane was equipped with an engine monitor unit which was recovered from the wreckage and downloaded. A review of the data indicated that the accident takeoff was the fifth of the day. The data revealed a momentary exceedance of the interstage turbine temperature (ITT) on the initial engine start of the day consistent with a hot start event. Otherwise, the engine parameters appeared to be within normal operating limits during the previous flights. The engine was not shutdown between flights.

The data revealed that, at the beginning of the accident takeoff, the engine speed increased smoothly from an idle speed of about 64% to 99% over a period of 5 seconds, and it remained at or above 97% for the remainder of the takeoff run. The fuel flow and oil pressure increased in conjunction with the engine speed. The engine torque increased in conjunction with the engine speed and subsequently stabilized at 100% about 35 seconds later. Each of the noted parameters stabilized within normal operating limitations during the takeoff run and were consistent with the engine operating normally at full takeoff power. About 50 seconds after the takeoff began, the engine speed and torque parameters decayed abruptly. The engine speed decreased from 98.3% to zero over a 4-second time interval. The engine torque increased momentarily to 106% before decreasing to zero over the following 3-second interval. The abrupt decrease in engine speed and torque was consistent with the encounter with the corn field. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 46, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
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: 02/28/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 5600 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: AERO COMMANDER
Registration: N5521X
Model/Series: S2R
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 1721R
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines:  Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Honeywell
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: TPE-331-6
Registered Owner: Olsem Aerial Application Service
Rated Power: 750 hp
Operator: Olsem Aerial Application Service
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: MWM, 1411 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1135 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 1600 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 20°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Westbrook, MN (3MN4)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Westbrook, MN (3MN4)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1145 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Rolling Hills (3MN4)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 1477 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 9
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2250 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor

Latitude, Longitude: 43.950833, -95.378333 (est)

Location: Westbrook, MN
Accident Number: CEN18LA332
Date & Time: 08/15/2018, 1145 CDT
Registration: N5521X
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER S2R
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On August 15, 2018, about 1145 central daylight time, an Aero Commander S2R, N5521X, was substantially damaged during an in-flight collision with terrain after takeoff from runway 9 (2,250 ft by 60 ft, turf) at the Rolling Hills Airport (3MN4), Westbrook, Minnesota. The operator stated that the airplane did not climb as expected after takeoff and it impacted a corn field immediately east of the runway. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Olsem Aerial Application Service as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The local flight was not operated on a flight plan and was originating at the time of the accident.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: AERO COMMANDER
Registration: N5521X
Model/Series: S2R
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Olsem Aerial Application Service
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: MWM, 1411 ft msl
Observation Time: 1135 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 1600 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 360°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Westbrook, MN (3MN4)
Destination: Westbrook, MN (3MN4)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  43.950833, -95.378333 (est)

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