Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Loss of Control in Flight: Air Tractor AT-502B, N42190; accident occurred June 29, 2020 in South Bay, Palm Beach County, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida  

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aerial Crop Protection Inc

Location: South Bay, Florida 
Accident Number: ERA20CA231
Date & Time: June 29, 2020, 11:30 Local
Registration: N42190
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT502 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural


The pilot was performing an aerial application flight, and after distributing dry fertilizer he entered a downwind approach to land on a dirt road next to the field he was spraying. During a 180° turn to line up with the road, the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall. He added power, levelled the wings, deployed the flaps, and recovered from the stall; however, the airplane was too low and its landing gear struck sugar cane in the field. The airplane subsequently impacted the ground, and the fuselage and empennage were substantially damaged. The operator reported there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airplane 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 loss of airplane control during the approach, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and impact with vegetation and terrain.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Angle of attack - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Airspeed - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Uncontrolled descent Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Approach Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Center
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: June 9, 2020
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: May 24, 2020
Flight Time: 3106 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1639 hours (Total, this make and model), 3013 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 211 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 72 hours (Last 30 days, all

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Air Tractor
Registration: N42190
Model/Series: AT502 B 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted (Special)
Serial Number: 502B-2705
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel 
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: April 21, 2020 100 hour 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 9400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 146 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Turbo prop
Airframe Total Time: 4374 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt Whitney
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: PT6-34
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 750 Horsepower
Operator: On file
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: BCT,16 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 11:47 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 105°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2400 ft AGL 
Visibility 9 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 120° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 33°C / 25°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Belle Glade, FL (X10) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Belle Glade, FL (X10)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Belle Glade State Muni X10
Runway Surface Type: Gravel
Airport Elevation: 14 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough
Runway Used: 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 26.472778,-80.556945(est)

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