NTSB Identification: CEN12FA521
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Monday, August 06, 2012 in Lakin, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/30/2014
Aircraft: AYRES CORPORATION S2R-T34, registration: N365SM
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that he had encountered low-level turbulence during his previous agricultural application flights. During the accident flight, he noted continued turbulence and observed powerline obstructions around the field. The pilot then descended the airplane to the field beyond the power lines and leveled out about 3 to 5 feet above the corn. He reported that the airplane experienced some "sink" and that he applied back stick pressure to remain "level." However, the airplane continued to descend, contacted the corn, pitched nose down, and came to rest near the cornfield. The propeller and engine exhibited signs of power production at the time of the accident and postaccident examination revealed no anomalies that would have prevented normal operation before the accident.

The pilot stated that he was sick the weekend before the accident and should have stayed in bed. Additionally, he commented that he had been relocating to a new house where he worked long hours there. The weather at the time had a higher than standard density altitude. However, there was insufficient supporting data to determine the extent to which these issues might have played a part in the pilot's and the airplane's reduced performance during the accident flight.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the corn during an aerial application flight.

Full narrative available

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