Sunday, September 30, 2018

Piper PA-25-235, registered to a private individual and operated by Wayne's Ag Aviation, N4963Y: Accident occurred August 25, 2016 in Bushton, Rice County, Kansas

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Wichita, Kansas
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

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/N4963Y


Location: Bushton, KS
Accident Number: CEN16LA334
Date & Time: 08/25/2016, 1250 CDT
Registration: N4963Y
Aircraft: PIPER PA 25-235
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On August 25, 2016, about 1250 central daylight time, a Piper PA-25-235 single-engine airplane, N4963Y, was substantially damaged during an off-airport forced landing near Bushton, Kansas. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to a private individual and was operated by Wayne's Ag Aviation; Ellsworth, Kansas, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 agricultural application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight departed Ellsworth Municipal Airport (9K7), Ellsworth, Kansas, about 1130.

The pilot was applying pesticide to a field when there was a partial loss of power and the engine did not respond to throttle inputs. The pilot flew straight ahead, colliding with tall milo crops, and the airplane came to rest inverted. There was a post-impact fuel and pesticide leak, but no post-impact fire. There were no witnesses to the accident.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors examined the engine on August 30, 2016. They reported finding no evidence of pre-impact catastrophic mechanical malfunction. Mechanical continuity was established during hand rotation of the crankshaft. The spark plugs electrodes remained mechanically undamaged and exhibited coloration consistent with normal operation. Spark was obtained from the magnetos. All fuel lines were found to be in place and secure. Fuel consistent with the appearance and odor of aviation fuel was noted. The gascolator and carburetor fuel screens were clean. The throttle/mixture controls were found securely attached at their control arms on the carburetor. and continuity to the cockpit was established. The air cleaner was free and clear of foreign objects. The engine had straight pipes and no muffler.

According to the FAA "Carburetor Icing Prevention" chart, under the conditions that prevailed, serious icing was possible at glide power. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): 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: 03/03/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/11/2015
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2630 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2200 hours (Total, this make and model), 2520 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 400 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N4963Y
Model/Series: PA 25-235
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1968
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 25-4764
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/14/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2900 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5973 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: O-540-A1D5
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 235 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)
Operator Does Business As: Wayne's Ag Aviation
Operator Designator Code: 4FBG 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGBD, 1880 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 24 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1235 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 247°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 50°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Ellsworth, KS (9K7)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Ellsworth, KS (9K7)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1130 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  38.506111, -98.396111 (est) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGBD, 1880 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 24 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1235 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 247°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 50°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Ellsworth, KS (9K7)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Ellsworth, KS (9K7)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1130 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  38.506111, -98.396111 (est)



NTSB Identification: CEN16LA334
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, August 25, 2016 in Bushton, KS
Aircraft: PIPER PA 25-235, registration: N4963Y
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 25, 2016, about 1250 central daylight time, a Piper PA-25-235 single-engine airplane, N4963Y, was substantially damaged during an off-airport forced landing near Bushton, Kansas. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to a private individual and was operated by Wayne's Ag Aviation; Ellsworth, Kansas, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 agricultural application flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan for the local flight had not been filed.

The pilot was spraying pesticide when he had a partial loss of power and engine did not respond to throttle commands. He crashed straight ahead into a tall Milo crop and the airplane came to rest inverted. There was a postimpact fuel leak and pesticide leak, but no postimpact fire.

No witnesses observed the accident and the wreckage wasn't easily visible from nearby roads. The pilot reported that although he was in considerable pain with several broken bones, after efforts of more than 15 minutes he was finally able to exit the inverted wreckage of the low-wing airplane. He then saw his cell phone on the ground, picked it up, called 9-1-1 emergency and directed the emergency responders to his location.

The closest official weather reporting station was at KGBD, Great Bend, Kansas; located 24 miles southwest from the accident location, At 1235 the Automated Surface Observation System at KGBD, reported wind from 050 degrees at 11 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 21 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 13 degrees C, with an altimeter setting of 30.16 inches of mercury.

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