Sunday, September 30, 2018

Rockwell S-2R, registered to the Bank of Utah and operated by Farm Aviation Inc, N4952X: Accident occurred June 29, 2016 near Brawley Municipal Airport (KBWC), Imperial County, California

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Diego, California

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/N4952X

Location: Brawley, CA
Accident Number: WPR16LA137
Date & Time: 06/28/2016, 2115 PDT
Registration: N4952X
Aircraft: ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL S 2R
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

On June 28, 2016, about 2115 Pacific daylight time, a Rockwell International S-2R, airplane, N4952X, collided with terrain shortly after takeoff from Brawley Municipal Airport (BWC), Brawley, California. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to the Bank of Utah and operated by Farm Aviation Inc, of Brawley, California as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight was originating at the time.

The pilot reported that after the pre-flight examination was accomplished, the airplane was started and the tanker loaded the airplane with diluted chemical. The airplane was then taxied to the west end of the runway for a departure to the east. The airplane took off normal and began to climb and attained an altitude of about 100 to 125 ft above ground level when the pilot decreased engine power so as not to red line the rpm. At this point, the pilot leveled off the airplane, pushed the nose over to gain airspeed, and adjusted the flaps to try and increase lift. As he increased engine power, the airplane started descending. Unable to maintain altitude, a forced landing was initiated that involved a right turn due to power transfer wires and roads in the area. During the landing the right wing impacted terrain and the landing gear collapsed. The airplane began sliding on its fuselage, spinning to the right, before coming to rest in a northerly direction. The pilot reported that he didn't dump the chemical load during the descent because he just didn't have the time. The pilot did not report any mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane but thought that he had too much of a load.

An onsite examination of the airplane, which was conducted by representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), revealed that the right wing was buckled near the tip, and the landing gear was crushed underneath the wings. The fuel system was intact, and no fuel leaks were noted. The propeller blades had impact damage consistent with power during impact with the ground. The postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no preimpact anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

According to the owner, the airplane departed with 350 gallons of chemicals in the hopper. He also stated that the airplane's previous flight was the night before and it flew with no issues. The accident airplane was refueled before takeoff on the accident flight and had about 65 gallons of fuel onboard. Aircraft gross weight is 5,333 lbs and the weight at the time of the accident was 4,700 lbs. Data was pulled from the engine monitoring system and revealed that the engine was producing power throughout the accident sequence.

The closest weather reporting station was located at Imperial County Airport (IPL), Imperial, California, located about 10 miles to the southwest of the accident site. At 2053, the weather reported as wind from 230o at 8 knots, 10 miles visibility, few clouds at 11,000 ft, temperature 39° C, dew point 12° C, altimeter 29.70 inches of mercury.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 37, 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:
Medical Certification: Class 2 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/26/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/12/2015
Flight Time:  1575 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1000 hours (Total, this make and model), 1460 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 120 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 35 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL
Registration: N4952X
Model/Series: S 2R UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 2160R
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/20/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5333 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 9503.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: pt6a-34ag
Registered Owner: Bank of Utah Trustee
Rated Power: 750 hp
Operator: Farm Aviation
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KIPL, -58 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0353 UTC
Direction from Accident Site:  202°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 11000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 230°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.7 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 39°C / 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Brawley, CA (BWC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Brawley, CA (BWC)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 2115 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: BRAWLEY MUNI (BWC)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: -128 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 08
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4402 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern

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: 32.989444, -115.503056 (est)

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA137
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 28, 2016 in Brawley, CA
Aircraft: ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL S 2R, registration: N4952X
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 June 28, 2016, about 2115 Pacific daylight time, a Rockwell International S-2R, single engine, tailwheel-equipped, agricultural airplane, N4952X, sustained substantial damage after impact with terrain shortly after takeoff from Brawley Municipal Airport (BWC), Brawley, California. The airplane was registered to the Bank of Utah, and operated by Farm Aviation, Inc., Brawley. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. 

The pilot reported that the departure and climbout was normal. About 1/4 mile past the departure end of the runway the pilot pushed the nose over to gain airspeed and adjusted the flaps. As he increased engine power the airplane started descending. He initiated a forced landing that involved a right turn due to wires and a road directly ahead. During the landing the right wing impacted terrain and the landing gear collapsed. The airplane began sliding on its fuselage, spinning to the right, before coming to rest in a northerly direction. 

An onsite examination of the airplane, which was conducted by a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), revealed that the right wing was buckled near the mid-section, and the landing gear was crushed underneath the wings. The propeller blades had impact damage consistent with engine power during impact with the ground. The fuel system was intact and no fuel leaks were noted. The airplane departed with 350 gallons of chemicals in the hopper and had about 65 gallons of fuel on takeoff.

According to the owner, the engine monitoring system revealed that the engine was producing power throughout the accident sequence.

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