Friday, August 30, 2019

Air Tractor AT-502A, N8517Q: Accident occurred August 29, 2019 near Olney Municipal Airport (KONY), Young County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas
Air Tractor; Olney, Texas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Olney, TX
Accident Number: CEN19LA295
Date & Time: 08/29/2019, 1100 CDT
Registration: N8517Q
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR AT502
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

On August 29, 2019, about 1100 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-502A airplane, N8517Q, collided with terrain during a forced landing shortly after takeoff from Olney Municipal Airport (ONY), Olney, Texas. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Lane Aviation as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 business flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that had the intended destination of Lane Airpark (T54), Rosenberg, Texas.

According to maintenance documentation, the airplane had accumulated about 1 hour of flight time before it received its airworthiness certificate on August 26, 2019. The pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to fly the airplane from the Air Tractor factory to his company's base at T54. The pilot reported that he arrived at the airport between 0930 and 1000, and that it took about an hour to review paperwork and the logbooks before he accepted the airplane. The pilot stated that he did not observe any anomalies during his 15 minute preflight inspection. The airplane had been previously topped-off with fuel (234 gallons), and fuel samples obtained during his preflight inspection were free of water and particulate. The pilot noted that the airplane was equipped with a ferry tank system; however, the ferry tank (hopper) did not contain any fuel.

The pilot reported that the engine started normally and that he did not observe any anomalies on the engine gauges. The pilot stated that he completed a brake check and cycled the propeller 3 times while taxiing to runway 17. The pilot noted that he did not operate the engine on the ferry tank because it was empty, and that the taxi and takeoff were performed with the fuel selector positioned to the main fuel tank. The pilot stated that after he taxied onto runway 17 he locked the tailwheel and increased engine power to 1,500 lbs of torque as he held the brakes. The pilot increased engine power to 2,200-2,300 lbs of torque during the takeoff roll and achieved a normal liftoff at 95-100 knots. The pilot reported that he maintained a higher-than-normal climb angle to quickly ascend to a safe altitude above the runway; however, at 200 ft above ground level (agl) the engine power began to surge between idle and full power.

The pilot reported that he did not believe there was adequate runway remaining to ensure a safe landing, so he entered a left turn to land on runway 31. The pilot stated that during the turn he saw an amber annunciator panel light illuminated, which he believed to be the fuel filter warning light. The pilot stated that he was unable to complete the turn to runway 31 without entering an aerodynamic stall, so he leveled the wings and made a forced landing in a hay field to the southeast of runway 31. The pilot reported that the airplane landed hard on the left main landing gear before it collided with a tree stump. The airplane then swerved to the left and down into a ditch.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: AIR TRACTOR
Registration: N8517Q
Model/Series: AT502 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:No 
Operator: Lane Aviation
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: RPH, 1123 ft msl
Observation Time: 1055 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 190°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Olney, TX (ONY)
Destination: Rosenberg, TX (T54) 

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: 33.350833, -98.819167 (est)

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