NTSB Identification: CEN09LA355
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, June 12, 2009 in Cordova, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER S2R, registration: N1734S
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was conducting an agricultural application pass at the time of the accident. A witness stated that the airplane pulled up over a house, located about mid-field, during a spray run. The witness commented that the airplane pulled up higher than others he had observed, adding that most airplanes “just skim[ed] the trees” when they flew over the house. He reported that the accident airplane dropped back down after it cleared the house, apparently to resume spraying; however, it impacted the ground. The airplane bounced once before settling back down and sliding to a stop. A postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any failures or malfunctions consistent with a preimpact failure. The pilot had about 200 hours of agricultural application experience the previous season. However, he had recently started flying the accident airplane, which was about 15 knots faster in spray runs than the airplane the pilot had flown the previous season. The pilot had accumulated about 28 hours in the accident airplane. Postmortem toxicology testing on the pilot’s blood was consistent with use of marijuana and propoxyphene, a prescription narcotic painkiller. However, the source of the blood was not specified. Accordingly, a reliable estimate could not be made of the time of last use or the probability of impairment due to either substance. The pilot had not indicated the use of any medication or illegal drugs or the presence of any medical condition at the time of his most recent medical certificate application.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance with terrain after clearing an obstacle during an agricultural application pass.

Full narrative available

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