Sunday, August 11, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (partial): Cessna A188B AGtruck, N78417; accident occurred August 22, 2018 at Amelia Earhart Airport (K59), Atchison County, Kansas

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City, Missouri

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Atchison, KS
Accident Number: CEN18LA350
Date & Time: 08/22/2018, 1600 CDT
Registration: N78417
Aircraft: Cessna A188
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On August 22, 2018, about 1600 central daylight time, a Cessna A188 airplane, N78417, impacted terrain after departing the Amelia Earhart Airport (K59), Atchison, Kansas. The pilot was not injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged during the accident. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by McElwain Sprayers, LLC under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an agricultural flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time.

The pilot reported he topped off with fuel in the morning and had flown two previous loads. On the third takeoff, as the airplane was 70 to 75 mph, "the airplane wouldn't come off the ground." He said that the mixture was full rich, and the propeller and throttle controls were full forward. He felt he could not stop on the remaining runway, so he dumped the load, in order to reduce the airplane's weight, in an attempt to get airborne. However, the airplane did not get airborne, and the airplane impacted terrain just beyond the runway. After the airplane came to rest, the pilot said he pulled the mixture control back, turned the magnetos and battery off, and exited the airplane.

The airplane's owner saw the attempted takeoff. He reported that the engine puffed black smoke during the takeoff run. He added that the fuel servo provided a mixture that was too rich, so on the ground the pilots would reduce the mixture, and then use a full rich mixture for takeoff. After the accident, he said the mixture control was back two inches, which was too far.

The responding Federal Aviator Inspector noted substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. A visual inspection of the engine did not find any abnormalities.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 25
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
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: 07/02/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N78417
Model/Series: A188 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 18801952T
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/17/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 10649.4 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: IO-550D
Registered Owner: McElwain Russell D
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: McElwain Sprayers, LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: WCFG

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: K59
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 2253 UTC
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  8 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 240°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.19 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Atchison, KS (K59)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Atchison, KS (K59)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Amelia Earhart Airport (K59)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1073 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 34
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3000 ft / 48 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

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: 39.575833, -95.181111


  1. Amazing professional pilot doing low altitude applications. Please don’t fly over my Farm nearby.

  2. You own the farm not the sky !

  3. Only 25? I thought only old guys make mistakes.