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N4779G accident description

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Tail numberN4779G
Accident dateOctober 05, 1999
Aircraft typeWSK PZL Mielec M18
LocationWeldon, AR
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On October 5, 1999, between the hours of 1600 and 1820 central daylight time, a WSK-PZL-MIELEC M18, agricultural airplane, N4779G, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Weldon, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by Hess Flying Service, Inc., of Wynne, Arkansas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. The local flight originated from the operator's private grass airstrip near Wynne, at an undetermined time.

According to the operator and witnesses, the pilot was applying "spodnam" to a bean field. The airplane was observed maneuvering in and around the field at 1300, 1515, and 1600. Approximately 1820, a farmer found the wreckage of the airplane in a rice field located 1/2 mile north of the field where the airplane was seen maneuvering.

According to the FAA inspector, who examined the airplane at the site, the left wing separated from the airframe, and the flight control cables for the left wing remained attached to the airframe. The right wing remained attached to the airframe. He added that the 960-horsepower radial engine separated from the airframe and came to rest 10 feet from the main wreckage. A review of the airframe and engine logbooks did not reveal evidence of any uncorrected maintenance discrepancies.

According to a report by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, a beer can was found "crushed between [the pilot's] lap and face." The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, Little Rock, Arkansas, performed an autopsy and reported that the pilot died of "multiple injuries with the contributory factors of acute alcoholism and hypertensive arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease." Toxicological testing by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, detected 159 mg/dL (0.159%) ethanol in blood and 178 mg/dL (0.178%) ethanol in vitreous.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.