Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Cessna A188B AGtruck, N53163: Fatal accident occurred July 27, 2020 Corsica, Douglas County, South Dakota

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; Rapid City, South Dakota

Location: Corsica, SD
Accident Number: CEN20LA309
Date & Time: 07/27/2020, 1045 CDT
Registration: N53163
Aircraft: Cessna A188
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

On July 27, 2020, about 1045 central daylight time, a Cessna C188 airplane, N53163, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident in Corsica, South Dakota. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 137 aerial application flight.

The flight originated at Corsica Municipal Airport (D65), Corsica, South Dakota, about 1025, and was destined to complete aerial applications over a field located 15 miles due east of D65.

According to witnesses, the pilot had just completed two passes over the field. After completing the second pass, and after almost completing his turn to return for another pass, the airplane suddenly nosed over and impacted the ground. One of the witnesses, who was in his tractor about 1/8 mile away from the accident site, described the airplane made about a ¼ turn (in a spiral) before impact. Two witnesses heard a loud noise from the airplane prior to seeing it "nosedive;" similar to a "backfire" or "an over-inflated tire bursting" and then heard the sound of the impact. All three witnesses stated the airplane appeared to be flying normally before the accident occurred.

According to the operator, the pilot had recently started with the company in early May 2020. He had been out flying for about 2.5 hours practicing spray operations and was on his third load of water.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N53163
Model/Series: A188 B
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: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMHE, 1300 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 23 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 320°
Lowest Ceiling:None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Corsica, SD (D65)
Destination: Corsica, SD (D65)

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: 43.428333, -98.244444 (est)

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

Keith Dodson
April 21, 1970 ~ July 27, 2020 (age 50)

A graveside service for Keith Dodson will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the Bent/Las Animas Cemetery in Las Animas, Colorado on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 with Pastor Gary Pritchard officiating. Seating will be limited.  Services will be streamed live on Valley Memorial and Horber Funeral Chapel Facebook page or accessed by clicking the link below.  Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at Horber Funeral Chapel.

Keith Loyde Dodson passed away on July 27, 2020 in Parkston, South Dakota at the age of 50.  He was born on April 21, 1970 in Garden City, Kansas to Kenneth and Donna (Gardner) Dodson.

Keith attended Riggins Flight Services in Madison, South Dakota where he obtained his Ag Applicator License in April 2020 and his Private Pilot License and Commercial Pilot License in May 2020. At the time of his passing he was working as an Ag Pilot at Central Ag in Corsica, South Dakota.  Keith passed away doing something he had always dreamed of doing, flying over the fields.

Keith is remembered for his smile and as always being happy. He always looked for that one thing that was going to be “IT”, the job that would bring him joy and make his hard work worthwhile.  He had finally found that in being a spray pilot. The joy in his voice, and the videos that he sent his close friends and family proved this. He was so proud of his accomplishment and had talked about giving his family and friends a ride in the plane someday, and that was something they were all looking forward to.

Keith could make friends with just about anyone.  He was thoughtful, considerate, and thought of others constantly, trying to better their lives in whatever way he could and wearing his heart on his sleeve. Keith always knew how to talk to people and make them feel good.

Not only was Keith happy and kind, but he could work. It did not matter what he was doing, if someone needed some help, he would find a way to get them what they needed, even when he was busy. Keith was a go getter too. Never sitting around waiting for someone to tell him what to do (or think), but always up cleaning the shop, organizing, preparing, doing whatever he could to keep going. He wasn’t one to sit still. Like one of his favorite songs, Keith was the “lightening before the thunder”, always one step ahead of everyone else.

Keith enjoyed expanding his knowledge by researching and reading everything.  Anything he thought was important and going to make a major influence in our world, he was on it. Everyone knew they could turn to Keith for advice, he would either have the answer or know where to find it, or an opinion to help you think a little differently.

Keith wore many hats in his lifetime - spray pilot, harvest crew leader, farmer, truck driver, Cornwell Tools dealer, owner of Anarchy Athletics, race car driver, flag football player in Iowa (called him Big Keith), owner of a carpet cleaning business,  and Triple Digit Chrome, but his most important role in his life was that of being a husband, father, and grandfather, and had a special place in his heart for his dogs, Bella and Zoey.

He is survived by his parents, Kenneth and Donna Dodson; wife, Trina Dodson; daughters, Bailey (Cody) Cain and Kyla Dodson; grandchildren, Kellan and Kenna Cain; sister, Kendra (Stace) Davis; niece and nephew, Clay and Shelby Davis; stepson, Morgan Osborn; many cousins, aunts, and uncles; and a host of dear friends.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Joshua Gardner Scholarship Fund in care of Horber Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 431, Las Animas, Colorado, 81054.


  1. How tragic. Obvious loss of control from a mechanical failure or a medical condition leading to this crash. There is no better non-paved place to put down in a single engine out that in a flat terrain cornfield. Pics show it hit at a steep nose down attitude and apparently was spiraling to the left on impact as what's left of the cabin is twisted to the left and the tail to the right.

  2. Preliminary report of loud noise suggests something let go before he came down. Sad to have put in the effort to start a new career and then have this happen. Big loss to the community.


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