Aerial Application Pilot Lost Control After Landing

It was an aerial application flight and the aircraft in use was an Air Tractor AT-602, a tail dragger. The person flying the aircraft was a commercial pilot.

The accident happened at Ropesville, Texas airstrip. The aircraft was fully loaded with insecticide when it take off. Up in the air, the pilot realized that the aircraft was not equipped with proper spray nozzles and decided to turn back towards the airstrip.

The aircraft was fully loaded as it approach to land, realizing this fact, the pilot decided to make a low approach and found everything to be normal.

When he finally landed the aircraft in the next approach, the aircraft touched the dirt portion of the runway. As the pilot applied reverse thrust, the aircraft started to yaw towards the left immediately.

In response, the pilot quickly applied the right brake and right rudder, however, the aircraft continued to move towards the left.

According to what the pilot told, the tail wheel was still in air when he applied the reverse thrust. This was a major contributing factor in the directional loss of the aircraft.

The left main landing gear of the aircraft collapsed as it exited the runway and ram over many rows of crops. The propeller sliced into the ground and the aircraft turned on its nose. Ultimately, considerable damage was caused to right wing and firewall.

When the aircraft same to rest it was already on its back and the pilot was still caged inside. He was hanging upside down with his visor down and helmet on. The insecticide chemicals was not pouring on the face of the pilot and he got the feeling of getting drowned.

The pilot was ultimately able to free himself from the strapped belt and used the emergency door to crawl out of the aircraft.

Probable cause: The pilot lost control of the aircraft during landing.

NTSB Identification GAA15CA023

This accident report was published on the website of National Transportation Safety Board. This article is written for educational purpose and to help pilots learn from the mistakes or misfortunes of other pilots.


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