Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Air Tractor AT-502, N9185D: Fatal accident occurred April 07, 2020 in Pecan Gap, Delta County, Texas

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Dallas, Texas

Location: Pecan Gap, TX
Accident Number: CEN20LA143
Date & Time: 04/07/2020, 1945 CDT
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT 502
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On April 7, 2020 about 1945 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-502 agricultural airplane, N9185D, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Pecan Gap, Texas. The pilot received fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations 137 agricultural flight.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector noted the airplane had impacted the top of a tree before impacting terrain. Several airplane pieces, including the engine, were found in the wreckage path to the main wreckage. A post-crash fire consumed a majority of the of the fuselage. There were no witnesses to the accident.

The airplane was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Air Tractor

Registration: N9185D
Model/Series: AT 502 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPRX
Observation Time: 1856 CDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 200°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal

Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:

Thad Wesley Cooper
August 23rd, 1973 - April 10th, 2020

Private graveside services for Thad Cooper, 46, of Rayville, Louisiana will be held April 16th, 2020, at the Rayville Masonic Cemetery with Rev. Rayland Trisler officiating.

Thad was born August 23, 1973, in Natchez, MS and went to be with the Lord on Friday, April 10, 2020. Thad graduated from Riverfield Academy and ULM in Ag. Business. He had a passion for aviation. Thad was a certified flight instructor, instrument instructor, rated licensed helicopter pilot, and certified pilot mechanic. Thad also had a love of spreading the gospel throughout remote areas of the world through XMA missions.

Mr. Cooper is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Carl and Louis Roberts; and paternal grandfather, D. F. Cooper.

He is survived by his children, Brendan, Ethan, Aaron, and Lauren; and their mother, Wendy; parents, David and Carllette Cooper; brother, John and wife Julie; and their children, Harrison, Bonnie, Anna, and ZoƩ; paternal grandmother, Wanda Cooper; uncles, Tully Roberts and Butch Roberts; and aunt, Denise Hanson.

The family request that all donations be sent to XMA missions:

Online Registry/Condolences:

A plane crash reported in Pecan Gap Tuesday evening resulted in serious injuries for the pilot, Delta County authorities reported.

The crop dusting plane reported clipped a tree and crashed into a field off FM 64 in Pecan Gap at 7:07 p.m. April 7, 2020, catching on fire. The pilot reportedly dragged himself out of the plane and about 300 yards away to a back porch. The residents reported seeing the crash through a window, spotted the man and called for help, according to Delta County Sheriff’s Office.

Delta County Fire Departments, Sheriff’s Deputies and Constable; Hopkins County EMS; and Lifestar responded at the crash site.

The pilot sustained burns throughout his body. He was flown to Parkland Hospital for treatment. No additional information was available Wednesday, according to DCSO reports.

April 2012:

GARLAND CITY, Arkansas —  Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is investigating a Miller County crop dusting company for reportedly dumping its chemical containers and other trash.

Inspectors visited Garland Agviation on April 4, 2012 to check a complaint that a waste pit was being maintained near the company’s office and airstrip on Price Street. They found a pit containing about 80 cubic yards of waste, comprised mostly of empty containers of fungicide, herbicide, surfactant and other chemicals and evidence that some had been burned.

The garbage was in and near standing water—it is within 100 feet of a wetland that extends to a private duck pond—and many of the containers were still coated with chemical residue.

Tommy Goodwin, editor of the Lafayette County Press in Lewisville, Ark., was walking in the area when he “happened upon” the dump.

“I stepped out of the woods on the adjoining property, saw that 30 to 40 yards away and thought, ‘That isn’t right,’” Goodwin said.

Goodwin couldn’t gauge the scope of the dump from ground level, so he pulled up an aerial view of the site using Google Earth when he returned home. He noticed four areas of varying darkness he guessed were signs of previous dumping, burning and burying.

The discovery moved Goodwin to file a complaint with ADEQ shortly after.

Inspectors from the ADEQ’s air, water and solid waste divisions determined the site violated state air quality and waste disposal laws.

According to the ADEQ report, Garland Agviation owner Ronny Rogers met the inspectors at the site and admitted to maintaining the dump and burning waste.

“Everything that’s in the pit was put there by an employee that I fired,” Rogers said Friday.

To comply with ADEQ and Arkansas State Plant Board regulations, Rogers said the company triple-rinses empty containers. The resulting material reportedly poses little threat to people or water.

“It’s not like the general public thinks,” Rogers said. “It’s just a clean container, probably cleaner really than household product stuff.”

ADEQ spokeswoman Katherine Benenati said the agency is working with Rogers to ensure the site has been properly cleaned. The agency has yet to decide whether to assess penalties, which can reach $10,000.

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