Sunday, May 23, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Air Tractor Inc AT-502B, N571LA; accident occurred May 23, 2020 at Bunkie Flying Service Airport (2LA4), Bunkie, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Gypsy Air Inc

Location: Bunkie, Louisiana 
Accident Number: CEN20CA190
Date & Time: May 23, 2020, 15:59 Local
Registration: N571LA
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT502 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural


The pilot stated that during takeoff, when he pushed the control stick forward to raise the tail of the airplane, the airplane went to the left. He tried to correct back to the right but was unsuccessful. In an effort to prevent an accident, he decided to attempt the takeoff and became airborne briefly before the wheels impacted the sugarcane field. The airplane nosed over and sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer and rudder. He stated that he was wearing a helmet and only received minor injuries during the accident. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

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 directional control during takeoff.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 71, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Waiver time limited special 
Last FAA Medical Exam: February 1, 2020
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 24000 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Air Tractor
Registration: N571LA
Model/Series: AT502 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2005 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted (Special) 
Serial Number: 502B-2571
Landing Gear Type: 
Tailwheel Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: Turbo prop
Airframe Total Time: 
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt and Whitney
Engine Model/Series: PT-6A
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural aircraft (137)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Distance from Accident Site: 30 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 20:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 320°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 90° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.92 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Bunkie, LA (2LA4)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Bunkie, LA (2LA4)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Bunkie Flying Service 2LA4 
Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 65 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 17 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5000 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 30.930555,-92.179168(est)

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