Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Controlled Flight Into Object: Cessna A188B AGtruck, N4912Q; fatal accident occurred April 13, 2021 in Pineview, Wilcox County, Georgia

Nicholas Ryan Frost
January 27, 1995 - April 13, 2021 (age 26)

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas  

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:
Location: Pineview, Georgia
Accident Number: ERA21FA184
Date and Time: April 13, 2021, 08:52 Local 
Registration: N4912Q
Aircraft: Cessna A188 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Aerial application

On April 13, 2021, about 0852 eastern daylight time, a Cessna A188B, N4912Q, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Pineview, Georgia. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight.

The airplane was based at a private airstrip in Unadilla, Georgia. According to the operator, the airplane departed Unadilla about 0705 with about 2 hours 30 minutes of fuel onboard. The pilot was spraying for mosquitos when the airplane collided with powerlines. At the time, he had two more residences to spray before returning to the airstrip.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial; Flight instructor
Age: 26, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane multi-engine; Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: January 27, 2021
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 8, 2021
Flight Time: 4511 hours (Total, all aircraft), 50 hours (Total, this make and model), 3284 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 100 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N4912Q
Model/Series: A188 B 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1976 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted (Special) 
Serial Number: 18802647T
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: March 23, 2021 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 23 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 7554 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: IO-520-D
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 300 Horsepower
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: MCN, 354 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 35 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 08:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 350°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Unadilla, GA
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Pineview, GA
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 07:05 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.104723,-83.563501

The wreckage was located inverted, about 8 miles southeast of the departure airstrip, in a field near powerlines. The powerlines were about 50 ft above ground level and damage to the powerlines and landing gear were consistent with both main landing gear contacting the powerlines in a west-to-east direction. Both main landing gear separated during impact with the powerlines, and the propeller and
lower engine cowling also exhibited damage from contact with the powerlines. The powerlines were approximately 1.25 inches thick, consisting of a steel core with aluminum wires twisted around the core.

Flight control continuity was established to the ailerons, elevator, and rudder. All flight control surfaces remained attached to the structure. The manual flap handle was in an extended position. The pilot’s seat was fitted with a three-point safety harness. The webbings remained intact and were cut by first responders. The buckle remained fastened.

The engine was rotated by hand at the propeller, which remained attached to the crankshaft; suction and compression were observed on all cylinders and no internal binding was observed. One propeller blade was bent forward 180° at midspan and then bent aft at the tip. The other blade was twisted. Both blades exhibited leading edge polishing/grinding along the outboard one-third of each blade.

Additional Information

Data downloaded from an onboard GPS revealed that the airplane was on a northeasterly track toward the powerlines. The last position recorded was at 0852:43, about 3/4-mile southwest of the accident site, indicating a groundspeed of 116 mph and a GPS altitude of 327 ft. The elevation at the accident site was 315 ft mean sea level.

Review of the Atlanta VFR Sectional chart revealed that the powerlines were depicted on the chart. Solar calculations for the location and time of accident revealed that the sun was approximately 23° above the horizon and 50° to the right of the airplane track.

Medical and Pathological Information

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Georgia Division of Forensic Sciences. The cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma.

Toxicology testing was performed by the FAA’s Forensic Sciences Laboratory. The results were negative for alcohol and other drugs.

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