Thursday, December 30, 2021

Collision with Terrain (non-CFIT): Air Tractor AT-502B, N8523Z; accident occurred June 20, 2021 in Edwardsburg, Cass County, Michigan

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Lutes Flying Service Inc 

Location: Edwardsburg, Michigan 
Accident Number: CEN21LA283
Date and Time: June 20, 2021, 13:37 Local 
Registration: N8523Z
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT-502B 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) 
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural


The pilot reported that while conducting an aerial application pass over a field, the airplane stuck trees and subsequently impacted the ground. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, both wings, and empennage. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operations. The pilot reported that the field had rising terrain toward its southern edge and as the airplane approached the southern edge, the airplane was unable to climb above the rising terrain. It is likely the pilot failed to identify the rising terrain in time to clear the trees.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to identify rising terrain and to maintain terrain clearance from trees during an aerial application pass that resulted in an in-flight collision with trees and terrain.


Personnel issues Identification/recognition - Pilot
Aircraft Altitude - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Sloped/uneven terrain - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) (Defining event)
Uncontrolled descent Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial; Flight engineer
Age: 66, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: March 19, 2021
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: March 19, 2021
Flight Time: 27100 hours (Total, all aircraft), 950 hours (Total, this make and model), 18400 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 40 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: AIR TRACTOR INC 
Registration: N8523Z
Model/Series: AT-502B 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2005 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted (Special) 
Serial Number: 502B-2577
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel 
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: May 3, 2021 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 8000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 5774 Hrs
Engines: 1 Turbo prop
Airframe Total Time: as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: Not installed 
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-34AG
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 750
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: EKM 
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 13:52 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 326°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 250°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 29.72 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 21°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Elkhart, IN (EKM) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Elkhart, IN (EKM)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 13:30 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 41.7956,86.0808(est)

No comments:

Post a Comment