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N3158W accident description

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Tail numberN3158W
Accident dateJuly 15, 2007
Aircraft typeAir Tractor AT-301
LocationOsceola, IN
Near 41.555833 N, -86.051944 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

"THIS CASE WAS MODIFIED SEPTEMBER 19, 2008."

On July 15, 2007, at about 1603 eastern daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-301, N3158W, operated by Agriflite, collided with trees at the end of a swath run during an aerial application flight in Osceola, Indiana. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The flight originated from the Eby Field Airport (II74), Wakarusa, Indiana.

The pilot was spraying a short field that had wooded areas on both the north and south ends of the field when the accident occurred.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 25, held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot held a second-class medical certificate that was issued on February 28, 2007. There were no limitations associated with this certificate. At the time of application for the medical certificate, the pilot reported having 373 hours of total flight time, 10 hours of which were flown in the previous 6 months. The pilot began flying aerial application flights a couple a weeks prior to the accident.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane, an Air Tractor AT-310, serial number 301-0455, was equipped with a 600 horsepower Pratt and Whitney R-1340 engine, serial number CAC 2656. The engine was overhauled approximately 25 hours prior to the accident.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

Weather conditions recorded at the Elkhart Municipal Airport (ELK), located approximately 6 miles north-northeast of the accident site, at 1555 were: Wind from 310 degrees at 5 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 28 degrees Celsius; dew point 10 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.92 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The global positioning system (GPS) that was onboard was downloaded. The data indicated the airplane was heading north prior to entering a right turn to the south. The track ends as the airplane was completing the turn to the south. The point where the track ends correlates with the wooded area where the accident occurred.

The initial tree impact was at the edge of a heavily wooded area, which was adjacent to the field that was being sprayed. The airplane continued into the wooded area contacting trees up to 12 inches in diameter, prior to coming to rest inverted. Clean, freshly cut branches were located along the impact trail. The propeller blade that was buried in the ground was relatively straight. The two remaining blades were bent rearward and slightly curled. Both the left and right outer wing panels were separated from the airplane and were located in the wooded area. The tail of the airplane was separated from the rear fuselage and was located near the main wreckage.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy of the pilot was performed on July 16, 2007, at the South Bend Medical Foundation, South Bend, Indiana. The final autopsy report listed the cause of death as "Multiple blunt force injuries."

Toxicological samples were tested by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute. All tests results were negative.

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