Monday, August 24, 2020

Air Tractor AT-802A, N759FA: Fatal accident occurred August 21, 2020 in Dell, Mississippi 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 Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock, Arkansas
Air Tractor Inc; Olney, TX

Location: Del, AR
Accident Number: CEN20LA357
Date & Time: 08/21/2020, 1430 CDT
Registration: N759FA
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT802
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

On August 21, 2020, about 1430 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-802A agricultural airplane, N759FA, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Del, Arkansas. The pilot was fatally injured. The flight was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight.

The flight was to apply a fungicide agent to the crop. An initial report from two witnesses, who saw the airplane during the flight, indicated that the airplane made a steep turn, before losing altitude. The responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector noted that the airplane impacted terrain in a nose down attitude. The front of the airplane was heavily damaged, the wings were accordioned crushed along the wingspan, and the engine was submerged in the ground.

The wreckage will be recovered to a secure location for a detailed examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Air Tractor
Registration: N759FA
Model/Series:AT802 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Tesk Aviation 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:
Observation Time: 1958 UTC
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 60°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3700 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.9 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: None
Ground Injuries:N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

John Wesley “Wes” Addison, 55, of Dyersburg, died Friday, August 21st, 2020 in Gosnell, Arkansas. Born October 10th, 1964, he is the son of Barbara Sandlin (Wayne) of Lamesa, TX and Graham Addison (Rita) of Seminole, TX.  He graduated from Lamesa, TX in 1983. He was an Ag Pilot.  Wes proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps.  He was a member of First Baptist Church, Dyersburg.

Wes was a cropduster for 28 years. He began his career in Seminole, TX, working for his dad at Addison Flying Service. In 2004, he took a job at Earl’s Flying Service in Steele Missouri. He was highly respected among others in his field, with some even referring to him as “top 10 in the profession”. 

He married Leslie Standifer in Portales, New Mexico in August 1990. They just celebrated their 30 year anniversary. He enjoyed supporting his sons in their activities such as trap shooting, baseball, golf, and band. He recently enjoyed watching his son, Colton coach the Franklin Rebels, and keeping up with Clayton on his international travels.

Wes was an avid deer hunter. He thoroughly enjoyed his time at his Big Horn Hunting Club in Big Sandy, Tennessee with his best hunting buddies.  He loved to cook, especially grilling his favorites for family and friends.

Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, August 28, 2020 in the Chapel of Curry Funeral Home officiated by Reverend Mike Hickman with interment to follow in Fairview Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Thursday, August 27th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife, Leslie Addison; two sons, Colton Addison of Nashville, Clayton Addison of Memphis; two sisters, Paula Bryson (Ty) of Carlsbad, NM, Melissa Sales (Joe) of Seminole, TX; one brother, Clint Addison (Shalea) of Seminole, TX; father-in-law Jim Standifer of Portales, NM; mother-in-law, Laverne Inge (Bob) of Portales, NM; brother-in-law Steve Standifer (Angela) of Grover Beach, CA, brother-in-law Cade Standifer (Cherise) of Portales, NM; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Dean Teeter, Mick McIntire, Bill Valentine, Chris Lee, Darren Sells and Billy Sharp will serve as pallbearers.

The family requests memorials be directed to Damascus Project of Dyersburg, 333 S. Mill Street, Dyersburg, TN  38024 or Semper Fi Fund, Camp Box 555193, Pendleton CA 92055.

We are privileged and honored to serve the Addison family. You may share your condolences and your memories with the family at

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, Arkansas (KAIT) - One person has died in a crop duster crash in Mississippi County Friday afternoon, according to authorities.

According to the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office, John Addison, 55, of Dyersburg, Tennessee was the pilot who was killed in a crop duster crash Friday afternoon.

The crash happened on Highway 181 near East County Road 122 around 3 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration is on the scene and investigating what caused the deadly crash.


  1. RIP. Arguably the two most dangerous pilot professions: AG and firefighting. Several Air Tractor reports on KR recently.

    1. The Mid Air near Caliente was mucho sad :(

    2. I've noticed that too. Several Air Tractor crashes

  2. My heart breaks for the family’s and loved ones for every fatality. This year there has been too many AG crashes. Not counting but I’d say close to 50 with at least 50% fatal. What is going on?
    This has to stop. May their families find comfort!

    1. Every hands-on worker is caught in the squeeze of time pressure to complete more work in the same time period. Ag pilots may be operating closer to the limits to finish sooner. Might not even realize they are flying "harder at it".

  3. There ought to be the small electronic Flight Data Recorder (FDR) recorder required on all these aircraft to reconstruct exactly what went wrong. Maybe training and/or recurrent training on a regular basis is now needed to help with the extreme accident rate in these type operations.

  4. Hard and stressful work all at low level,pressure and in New Zealand many Ag pilot suicides,the ever present problem of wires and those stall turns in a heavily loaded aircraft,so sad.

  5. The AG pilot has to manage all the same parameters of flight that an aerobatic pilot does, with turns and pullups that don't defy physics.

    But aerobatic shows don't primarily do crop-level flyby with poles, wires and trees to avoid, over fields poorly suited for emergency landing, every day. Air shows can be entertaining, but AG pilots are essential partners in making abundant food possible - unsung heroes, every one of them.

    1. Yeah they have to be on their A-game full time.