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N82509 accident description

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Crash location 37.496944°N, 94.311667°W
Nearest city Lamar, MO
37.495603°N, 94.250225°W
3.4 miles away
Tail number N82509
Accident date 05 May 2013
Aircraft type Piper PA-25-235
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On May 5, 2013, about 0900 central daylight time, a Piper PA-25-235 airplane, N82509, was substantially damaged during an in-flight collision with terrain near Lamar, Missouri. The pilot initially survived the accident, but subsequently died at a local hospital. The airplane was registered to and operated by Kevin Kingsley LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Lamar Municipal Airport (LLU), Lamar, Missouri, about 0855.

The operator reported that the pilot was demonstrating proficiency in the airplane and in aerial application operations at the time of the accident. The pilot completed about seven takeoffs and landings without any apparent difficulty before the accident. The airplane was then loaded with approximately 90 gallons of water for practice aerial application passes to a wheat field adjacent to the airport. The pilot reportedly departed and completed one pass from south to north. After completion of the application pass, the airplane pitched up and rolled into a bank before it descended and impacted the ground.

A second witness observed the accident pilot perform several takeoffs and landings and noted that they went "fairly well." During the subsequent aerial application demonstration, the pilot made one pass toward the north. As the airplane exited the field, the sound of the engine increased as if the pilot had increased engine power. The airplane turned slightly to the east, which was followed by a left turn toward the west. During the turn, the nose dropped and the airplane descended straight down toward the ground. The airplane appeared to rotate about one-half turn in a spiral during the descent.

The airplane impacted an agricultural field about one-half mile north of the airport.


The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with single-engine land airplane and instrument airplane ratings. He held a flight instructor certificate with a single-engine airplane rating, which was most recently renewed on December 22, 2012. He was issued a second class airman medical certificate without limitations on December 5, 2012. According to the pilot's logbook, his most recent flight review was completed on August 11, 2012, in a Cessna 172 airplane. His logbook included a high performance airplane endorsement dated March 21, 2008, and a tailwheel airplane endorsement dated July 19, 2006.

The pilot had logged a total flight time of 1,681 hours. The last logbook entry appeared to have been dated February 29, 2013; although, that was not a leap year. He had logged approximately 76 hours in Air Tractor AT-301 airplanes; each of these flights appeared to be associated with agricultural operations. His logbook contained about 150 hours flight time in Cessna 206 airplanes, which appeared to be associated with agricultural operations. Additional flights logged in Cessna 206 airplane did not appear to have been associated with agricultural operations. The pilot's logbook did not contain any entries associated with a Piper PA-25 airplane.


The accident airplane was a 1977 Piper model PA-25-235, serial number 25-7756045. It was a low wing, single place, single-engine airplane, with a fixed conventional landing gear (tailwheel) configuration. The airplane was powered by a 260-horsepower Lycoming O-540-G1A5 reciprocating engine, serial number L11782-40. The airplane was issued a restricted category airworthiness certificate for pest control operations in February 1977.

The airplane maintenance logbooks indicated that a 100-hour inspection was completed on April 18, 2013, at a recording tachometer time of 1,140 hours. The most recent annual inspection was completed on November 27, 2012, at 1,055 hours tach time. The logs did not contain any record of outstanding maintenance issues.


The Atkinson Municipal Airport (PTS) Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) was located about 20 miles west of the accident site. At 0855, the PTS AWOS recorded weather conditions as: calm wind; visibility 1-1/2 miles; overcast clouds at 400 feet above ground level (agl); temperature 7 degrees Celsius; altimeter 30.09 inches of mercury. The dew point was not recorded.

The Joplin Regional Airport (JLN) Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) was located about 22 miles west-southwest of the accident site. At 0853, the JLN ASOS recorded weather conditions as: wind from 330 degrees at 5 knots; visibility 10 miles; broken clouds at 900 feet agl, broken clouds at 2,300 feet agl, overcast clouds at 3,300 feet agl; temperature 8 degrees Celsius; dew point 6 degrees Celsius; altimeter 30.10 inches of mercury.

A witness recalled the local weather conditions at the time of the accident as broken clouds about 1,500 feet agl, with a light northwest wind.


The airplane came to rest upright in an agricultural field about one-half mile north of the airport. The airplane was oriented approximately 050 degrees magnetic. The nose, forward fuselage, and both wings had sustained damage consistent with impact forces. Both main landing gears had collapsed. The empennage appeared intact. All flight controls remained attached to the airframe. Continuity was confirmed from each control surface to the cockpit controls.

The engine remained secured to the engine mount; however, the engine mount and firewall were partially separated from the airframe. The propeller remained secured to the engine crankshaft. Internal engine continuity was confirmed through crankshaft rotation. Cylinder compression was obtained during crankshaft rotation. Ignition spark was obtained from the left magneto; the right magneto was not equipped with an impulse coupling. No anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction were observed.


The pilot initially survived the accident and was transported to the Barton County Memorial Hospital in Larmar. Records indicated that the pilot lost vital signs before arriving at the hospital, and that he never regained a pulse. The pilot was subsequently pronounced dead at 1004, about one hour after the accident.

An autopsy of the pilot was conducted at the Cox South Hospital on May 7, 2013. The autopsy report noted the presence of blunt trauma to the pilot's head, chest, abdomen, and extremities, as well as the presence of moderate to severe coronary artery disease. The pilot's death was attributed to a cardiac arrhythmia secondary to myocardial ischemia due to coronary atherosclerosis. The manner of death was "probably natural."

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute toxicology report was positive for Lidocaine detected in blood and urine specimens. Records indicated that the Lidocaine was administered during the postaccident resuscitation efforts. Testing was negative for all other substances in the testing profile.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's in-flight loss of control, which was likely due to a sudden cardiac event.

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