Saturday, March 30, 2019

Rockwell S-2R-T Turbo Thrush, N4250X: Accident occurred March 28, 2019 near Hermiston Municipal Airport (KHRI), Umatilla County, Oregon

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Oregon

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Hermiston, OR
Accident Number: GAA19CA185
Date & Time: 03/28/2019, 1453 PDT
Registration: N4250X
Aircraft: Rockwell S 2R
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 


The pilot reported that, after completing an agricultural application flight, he returned to the airport. He added that, on final, he added flaps and became distracted by a spray handle that became open due to vibration. He took his hand off the control stick to close the spray handle, but because the airplane was improperly trimmed, the airplane pitched down severely. He pitched the nose up to about level, but the main landing gear struck the ground. The airplane bounced and impacted an irrigation system, the right main landing gear separated, and the airplane spun around before coming to rest.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage, and the empennage.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's distraction due to a spray handle opening and his improper pitch trim setting during final approach, which resulted in an excessive pitchdown when he took his hand off the controls to close the handle.


Aircraft Pitch control - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Elevator tab control system - Incorrect use/operation
Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Pilot
Personnel issues Attention - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)
Approach-VFR pattern final Attempted remediation/recovery
Approach-VFR pattern final Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Approach-VFR pattern final Part(s) separation from AC

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 60, 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 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/28/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/29/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 12744 hours (Total, all aircraft), 11749 hours (Total, this make and model), 12633 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 17 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 17 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Rockwell
Registration: N4250X
Model/Series: S 2R No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 2030R
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/15/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 9200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 19154.9 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: GE Aviation
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: M601E-11
Registered Owner: Pesicka, Theodore J.
Rated Power: 751 hp
Operator: AG Specialties 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: KHRI, 641 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 67°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Hermiston, OR (HRI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Destination: Hermiston, OR (HRI)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1421 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 644 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 05
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4501 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in 

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: 45.820000, -119.280833 (est)

HERMISTON, Oregon – A single-engine crop duster crashed in a newly-seeded crop circle south of Hermiston Thursday afternoon. The pilot was the only occupant. Theadore “Ted” Pasicka, 60, of Hermiston suffered a minor injury in the crash on land owned by the OSU Experiment Station.

Emergency and medical personnel from Umatilla County Fire District No. 1 and the Hermiston Police Department responded.

Hermiston Police Capt. Travis Eynon said there might have been minor damage to some irrigation equipment and the ground, but no major destruction occurred on the ground, other than to the plane itself.

Hermiston Police Lt. Randy Studebaker said the call came in at 2:54 p.m. Thursday afternoon. He added that the cause of the crash is thought to be a “possible mechanical issue.” The land, which is owned by the state, is not open to the public and Studebaker said the crash was not visible from the roads, which did not deter motorists from driving around trying to catch a glimpse of the wreckage.

A Hazmat team was activated because of what turned out to be a minor fuel leak. There was no threat to public safety as a result of the crash.

Original article ➤

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