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N8508P accident description

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Crash location 34.946944°N, 91.114167°W
Nearest city Wheatley, AR
34.912872°N, 91.110122°W
2.4 miles away
Tail number N8508P
Accident date 11 Jul 2018
Aircraft type Air Tractor AT-602
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 11, 2018, about 0630 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-602, N8508P, was destroyed by ground impact and a post-crash fire when it impacted a wooded area about 1.5 miles north of Wheatley, Arkansas. The pilot received fatal injuries. The airplane was owned and operated by D-GER LLC under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial-application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The airplane departed about 0600 from the Frank Federer Memorial Airport (M36), Brinkley, Arkansas, on a local flight.

A witness reported that the pilot had loaded the airplane with 400 gallons of chemical and had full fuel tanks. He stated that the pilot was planning to spray a 40-acre field that the pilot owned, which was about 5 nautical miles (nm) from M36. No one witnessed the accident. A witness reported seeing fire and smoke about 0630, and the airplane wreckage was found by first responders.

The aircraft wreckage was found in a wooded area between 2 open fields located about 1/3 mile to the west of the field that was being treated. A gully, approximately 6 ft deep, ran northeast-to-southwest through the area. The debris path was over 200 ft in length on a magnetic heading of 280°. The initial impact point was a shallow ground scar which had aircraft components from the belly of the aircraft. As the ground scars entered the wooded area, the debris path consisted of wing and empennage components. The fuselage was found on the north side of the gully about 120 ft from the initial impact point. The engine was separated from the fuselage and was found in the gully below the fuselage. Most of the separated fuselage components were found in the gully to the southwest. All the control surfaces were found at the scene.

At 0553, the surface weather observation at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT), Little Rock, Arkansas, located 56 nm from the accident site was: wind 240° at 3 knots; visibility 10 miles; few clouds at 200 ft; temperature 24° C; dew point 23° C; and altimeter 30.03 inches of mercury.

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