Friday, March 13, 2020

Air Tractor AT-602, N5197Y: Accident occurred February 25, 2020 in Dumas, Desha County, Arkansas

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock, Arkansas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Dumas, AR
Accident Number: CEN20LA109
Date & Time: 02/25/2020, 1030 CST
Registration: N5197Y
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT 602
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On February 25, 2020, about 1030 central standard time, an Air Tractor AT-602, N5197Y, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Dumas, Arkansas. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight.

The pilot reported that after the completion of a low-level aerial application operation over a field, he was executing a trim pass on the north side of the field with about 495 gallons of chemical in the hopper. While flying from west to east, between "160 to 180" mph, the five-blade metal propeller impacted a galvanized metal bracket attached to the top of a 35 ft tall wooden power line pole. The bracket was approximately one ft wide and two ft long. One of the propeller blades separated about midspan from the impact. After the impact, there were "extreme" vibrations throughout the engine and airframe and oil from the engine coated the front three windshield panels. The pilot attempted to clear the oil with the windshield wiper system with no avail.

The pilot maneuvered the airplane to perform an emergency landing to an east to west oriented dirt road, about a half mile north of where the wooden power line was located. The hopper load was not dumped before the landing. Due to the reduced visibility, the pilot landed while looking out the left window. Both wings impacted the ground during the landing sequence and the airplane came to rest over a ditch. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and the rudder as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1 – View of the substantial damage to both wings and the rudder after the airplane came to rest over a ditch (courtesy of the Federal Aviation Administration).

The pilot reported there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe and engine that would have precluded normal operation. While the wooded power line pole was previously identified by the pilot, the pilot reported that he did not know about, nor did he see the metal bracket attached to the top of the wooden power line pole. The pilot further reported that he did not feel the glare of the sun, which was positioned 39° above the horizon and at an azimuth of 143°, was a factor in the accident.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Air Tractor
Registration: N5197Y
Model/Series: AT 602 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: David Moss
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)
Operator Does Business As: Moss Flying Service
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLLQ, 270 ft msl
Observation Time: 1625 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2600 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 280°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:None 
Departure Point: Tillar, AR (None)
Destination: Tillar, AR (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: 33.870000, -91.526944 (est)

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