Saturday, September 05, 2020

Rockwell S-2R Thrush Commander, N1662S: Accident occurred July 20, 2020 in Harlan, Shelby County, Iowa

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; Des Moines, Iowa

Location: Harlan, IA
Accident Number: CEN20LA294
Date & Time: 07/20/2020, 1600 CDT
Registration: N1662S
Aircraft: Rockwell S2R
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

On July 20, 2020, at 1600 central daylight time, an Aero Commander S2R, N1662S, received substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Harlan, Iowa. The commercial pilot was uninjured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight.

The pilot stated that during a spray pass he felt the airplane yaw abruptly left and remained in an uncontrollable left yaw for about 10-15 seconds and at times pitching uncontrollably downward. The top 2/3 of the rudder had separated but remained attached. When the top portion of the rudder completely separated, the pilot regained control of the airplane and landed without further incident.

The separated portion of the rudder was not recovered. The top rudder hinge had fractured through and had brown colored features consistent with corrosion. The remaining portion of the rudder and stabilizer was retained for metallurgical examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Rockwell
Registration: N1662S
Model/Series: S2R No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Slater's Spray Service
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Harland, IA (HNR)
Destination: Harland, IA (HNR)

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:


  1. Nice to see an Ag pilot recover control and escape injury this time.

  2. To me it's not about how many acres one can do in a day, it's about getting it done right and being safe.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.