Sunday, July 12, 2020

Air Tractor AT-602, N602NY: Accident occurred July 03, 2020 in Weldon, Jackson County, Arkansas

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; Little Rock, Arkansas 

Location: Weldon, AR
Accident Number: CEN20LA269
Date & Time: 07/03/2020, 1700 CDT
Registration: N602NY
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT 602
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On July 3, 2020, about 1700 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-602 airplane, N602NY, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Weldon, Arkansas. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 137 agricultural flight.

The pilot stated that he departed a private airstrip near Weldon, Arkansas, about 1650 with about 75 gallons of Jet-A fuel and a load of dry granular fertilizer. The pilot reported that the aerial-application portion of the flight was uneventful; however, as he was returning to base the airplane had a total loss of engine power about 3 miles from the airstrip. The pilot stated that the airplane was established in cruise flight about 400 ft above ground level when the engine "spooled down." The pilot stated that he was unable to restore engine power by advancing the power and propeller levers to full forward and activating the fuel boost pump and ignitors. The pilot did not recall looking at the cockpit engine gauges after the loss of engine power. The pilot stated that he lost directional control of the airplane after he made a firm landing in an open field. The pilot estimated that the flight was about 10 minutes in duration. The aft fuselage sustained substantial damage when the tailwheel separated during the ground loop after landing.

On July 6, 2020, before he notified the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the accident, the pilot had his aviation mechanic examine the airplane at the accident site to begin a repair estimate. The mechanic stated that there was ample fuel in the fuel tanks and that he was able to start up and run the engine at the accident site. The mechanic noted that the engine responded to his power lever inputs, his movement of the propeller lever cycled the propeller without any anomalies, and that the engine could generate 1,500 propeller rpm. The mechanic stated that all observed engine parameters were nominal during the engine test run at the accident site.

The airplane was partially disassembled and recovered from the field to a repair station for repairs and examinations. The recovery crew reported that about 56 gallons of fuel was drained from the wing tanks, and that the recovered fuel was evenly distributed between the wing fuel tanks. A FAA inspector reported that the fuel lines, fuel tank inlet screens, and fuel filters were free of any blockage, water, or significant particles. The airplane's digital fuel management system indicated that 50.3 gallons of fuel was remaining after the postaccident engine test run at the accident site.

The entire airplane was retained for additional examination and testing after multiple airframe repairs have been completed. The engine, a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65AG, serial number PCE-PN0209, had accumulated 1,521.6 hours since new. The engine had accumulated 141 hours since it was last inspected on May 1, 2020. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Air Tractor
Registration: N602NY
Model/Series: AT 602 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: PMZ Flying Service
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: M19, 239 ft msl
Observation Time: 1656 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 33°C / 24°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 250°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.9 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Weldon, AR (PVT)
Destination: Weldon, AR (PVT)

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: 35.462778, -91.176944 (est)

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