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N852JH accident description

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Tail numberN852JH
Accident dateApril 13, 2004
Aircraft typeAir Tractor AT-402B
LocationGoliad, TX
Near 28.608333 N, -97.609444 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On April 13, 2004, approximately 1122 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-402B single-engine tailwheel-equipped agricultural airplane, N852JH, registered to and operated by a private individual, was destroyed when it struck a power line and impacted the ground while performing aerial applications near Goliad, Texas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the aircraft, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. The local flight originated from Hunt's Aerial Application Service, a private airstrip, near Portland, Texas.

An Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, who responded to the accident site, reported that the airplane had previously flown under electrical power lines before striking the left wing tip section. The airplane impacted the ground approximately 150 yards from the power lines. The inspector also found airplane debris under the power lines, including evidence of scuff markings on the electrical cables.

There were no reported eyewitnesses to the accident, and no post-impact fire was reported. The local utility company later repaired the lines after experiencing a power interruption.

A completed Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) was not received from the operator or his representative. The airframe and engine logbooks were not made available to the NTSB during the investigation.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for single-engine land, single-engine sea, instrument airplane, and rotorcraft. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on January 14, 2004, at which time, he reported to have accumulated approximately 9,000 total flight hours.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot, on April 14, 2004, by the Travis County Forensic Center, Austin, Texas. The cause of death was determined as multiple traumatic injuries. Toxicological testing was conducted by the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Paroxetine, used as an antidepressant was detected in the pilot's urine and blood. However, a value concentration was unobtainable. According to an FAA Flight Surgeon, "Use of this medication would have precluded medical certification of this pilot had it been reported." Review of past applications revealed that this airman failed to report this medication to the FAA.

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