Friday, May 17, 2019

Low Altitude Operation / Event: Grumman G-164A Ag-Cat, N4865, accident occurred May 15, 2019 in Lane City, Wharton County, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lane City, TX
Accident Number: GAA19CA270
Date & Time: 05/15/2019, 1400 CDT
Registration: N4865
Aircraft: Grumman G164
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 


The pilot reported that while conducting an aerial application flight he misjudged the height of the power line wires, and as a result the right wing struck the lower wire. The airplane subsequently impacted the ground and rolled several times before coming to a stop and a fire ensued.

The airplane was consumed by a postaccident fire and was destroyed.

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 failure to maintain clearance from power lines during low-altitude maneuvering.


Personnel issues Monitoring environment - Pilot
Aircraft Altitude - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Wire - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying Low altitude operation/event (Defining event)
Maneuvering-low-alt flying Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 30, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Center
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 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/17/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/29/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2900 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1800 hours (Total, this make and model), 2850 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 200 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 40 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Grumman
Registration: N4865
Model/Series: G164 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1972
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 1018
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/20/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 6000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 8742.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-20
Registered Owner: Currie Flying Service LLC
Rated Power: 550 hp
Operator: Currie Flying Service LLC
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: KARM, 100 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1915 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 352°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 90°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Wharton, TX (ARM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Wharton, TX (ARM)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1320 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.182778, -95.993889 (est)

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