Saturday, December 21, 2019

Low Altitude Operation/Event: Air Tractor AT-502B, N500KA; accident occurred August 16, 2019 in Onida, Sully County, South Dakota

View of damage to the empennage. 

Federal Aviation Administration 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rapid City, South Dakota 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Onida, SD

Accident Number: GAA19CA502
Date & Time: 08/16/2019, 1330 CDT
Registration: N500KA
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT502
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

The pilot reported that during an aerial application flight, he flew the airplane underneath powerline wires, but the airplane struck one of the wires. The airplane descended into a cornfield where it came to rest.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the lower fuselage.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; 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: 06/05/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/21/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 32843 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1500 hours (Total, this make and model), 32062 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 105 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Air Tractor
Registration: N500KA
Model/Series: AT502 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 502B-2657
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/25/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 8000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 4071.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-34AG
Registered Owner: Wilbur Ellis Air Llc
Rated Power: 750 hp
Operator: Wilbur Ellis Air 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: KPIR, 1726 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 22 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1853 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 206°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.84 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 16°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Pierre, SD (PIR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Pierre, SD (PIR)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1200 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

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: 44.707778, -100.061667