FTW98LA267
FTW98LA267

On June 12, 1998, at 1445 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-502B agricultural airplane, N6107W, was substantially damaged, following a loss of control while landing near Edna, Texas. The airplane was owned and operated by Kubecka Flying Service, Inc., of Edna, Texas, under Title 14 CFR Part 137. The airline transport rated pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the aerial application flight for which a flight plan was not filed. The airplane departed from the operator's private airstrip (6T4) at 1230.

In the narrative portion of the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the pilot reported that he lost control of the airplane while landing to the east at the Morales Farms Airstrip, located approximately 15 miles northwest of the airplane's home base in Edna, Texas. He added that the surface of the narrow 2,200 foot dirt airstrip was crowned. The airstrip was further confined by the recent installation of an electric fence running paralleled to the south side of the airstrip. The pilot added that the electric fence restricted him from using "the wing down method" for the crosswind landing, and he was "forced to crab into the wind" to maintain runway alignment during the landing.

The 11,500 hour pilot added that on the day of the accident, he made 8 previous landings at the airstrip which was being utilized as a reloading point. A windsock was not available at the airstrip; however, the pilot felt that the intensity of the wind continued to increase during the afternoon hours, as the weather became more unstable. The pilot reported that the turbulence he experienced while en route to and from the job site, and the "dust devils" that were prevalent throughout the area, confirmed that the air was very unstable.

The accident occurred during the pilot's ninth landing at the airstrip. The pilot reported that a "brisk crosswind prevailed from his right" (south), at the time of the accident. The pilot further stated that after "touching down normally," on the top of the crowned portion of the airstrip, the airplane drifted off the centerline of the airstrip towards the north edge of the runway. The pilot was unable to correct the drift, and since the turbine engine was at ground idle, he was unable to use engine power to attempt to control the drift. As the left main wheel came close to the edge of the strip, as the airplane was travelling at an estimated 40 to 50 mph, the left tire impacted a mount of dirt on the edge of the strip. The sudden deceleration veered the airplane to the left and the airplane nosed over coming to rest in the inverted position.

Examination of the 1995 model airplane by the operator revealed that the fuselage and the left wing sustained structural damage. The top of the cockpit, the hopper, the engine, the top of the vertical stabilizer, and the 3-bladed propeller, were damaged.

The reported winds at the Victoria Airport, located 21 miles southeast of the accident site, were from 180 degrees at 18 knots, gusting to 23 knots. The pilot stated that the winds at the accident site "pretty much matched the ones reported at Victoria."

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