NTSB Identification: ERA11LA424
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 26, 2011 in Drew, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/02/2012
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT-602, registration: N8525L
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 non-instrument rated pilot departed on an agricultural aerial application flight in instrument meteorological conditions. There was no record of the pilot obtaining a weather briefing or filing a flight plan; however, company personnel stated that he obtained a computer weather briefing before departing. About 55 minutes after the flight’s departure, a friend of the pilot observed the airplane flying over a town about 7 miles from the crash site. He stated that the weather was very foggy. The wreckage was located about 13 minutes later in a rice field by a plantation employee. The employee and the plantation owner also stated that it was very foggy with about 150 feet forward visibility. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted the ground in a left wing low, nose down attitude. Examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The airplane was not equipped for flight in instrument meteorological conditions. It is likely that the flight encountered dense fog, and the pilot lost visual reference outside and was unable to see the terrain prior to the airplane colliding with it.

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

The pilot's improper decision to conduct a visual flight rules aerial application flight in instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in an in flight collision with the ground while maneuvering.

Full narrative available

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