MIA98LA222
MIA98LA222

On August 12, 1998, at an unknown time, a Piper PA-25-235, N8654L, registered to a private owner, operating as AG Flight Inc, as a 14 CFR Part 137 aerial application training flight, crashed in the vicinity of Bainbridge, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The private pilot was fatally injured. The flight originated from Decatur County Industrial Airpark, Bainbridge, Georgia, at about 1115.

An instructor pilot for the operator stated the pilot did not return from a simulated aerial application run. Attempts to locate the pilot by radio were uneventful. An air search was initiated and the airplane was located at about 1207.

The wreckage of N8654L was located in a wooded area south of Brinson Air Base Road, Bainbridge, Georgia, about 2 miles west of Decatur County Industrial Airpark.

Examination of the crashsite revealed the airplane collided with the ground in a near vertical nose down, right wing low attitude. The leading edge of the right wing sustained sustained "accordion pleats starting just inboard of the lift struts, increasing in magnitude toward the tip which was bent up." The left wing had separated from the fuselage at the trailing edge. Both the hopper and fuel tanks were ruptured. One propeller blade was straight with signs of rotational abrasion on the back. The other propeller blade was bent back with evidence of torsional twisting.

Examination of the flight control system, engine assembly and accessories revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. Continuity of the flight control system was confirmed for pitch, roll, and yaw. (For additional information see FAA Inspector Statement).

Postmortem examination of the pilot was conducted by Dr. Mark A. Koponen, Medical Examiner, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Decatur, Georgia, on August 14, 1998. The cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries. Postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot was performed by the Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These studies were negative for alcohol, basic, acidic, and neutral drugs.

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