Sunday, November 29, 2020

Low Altitude Operation/Event: Air Tractor AT-602, N602FH; accident occurred July 27, 2020 in Tiro, Crawford County, Ohio

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; North Olmsted, Ohio

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Fisher Spray Service LLC

Location: Tiro, OH 
Accident Number: CEN20CA312
Date & Time: 07/27/2020, 0810 EDT
Registration: N602FH
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT 602
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural


The pilot was conducting an aerial application flight at the time of the accident. Before spraying, he circled the field and noted high tension power lines. He completed 3 spray runs without incident, passing under the power lines on 2 of those passes. However, on the 4th pass, the pilot "did not maintain a low enough altitude" and the vertical stabilizer struck the lines. The upper portion of the vertical stabilizer and the entire rudder separated from the airframe. He was able to maintain control with a "total loss of rudder control" and executed a forced landing to a harvested wheat field.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain clearance while attempting to fly under power lines during an aerial application pass.


Personnel issues Incorrect action performance - Pilot
Aircraft Altitude - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Wire - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying Low altitude operation/event (Defining event)
Maneuvering-low-alt flying Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age:48, Male 
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/18/2020
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/17/2019
Flight Time: 11997 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1378 hours (Total, this make and model), 10310 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 151 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 75 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Air Tractor
Registration: N602FH
Model/Series: AT 602 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 602-1162
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/11/2020, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 12500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 151 Hours
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 3108 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney Canada
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-60AG
Registered Owner: Fisher Spray Service LLC
Rated Power: 1050 hp
Operator: Fisher Spray Service 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: MFD, 1297 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0752 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 114°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots / 15 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 230°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Bucyrus, OH (17G)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Bucyrus, OH (17G)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0730 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

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: 40.914722, -82.790000

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