On April 1, 2000, at 1030 central standard time, an Aerotek Pitts S-2A, N224V, owned and piloted by a commercial pilot, received substantial damage during landing on runway 14 (3,264 feet by 200 feet, grass) at the Shelby County Airport (2H0), Shelbyville, Illinois. The airplane impacted a golf cart that was being used to apply weed killer adjacent to runway 14. The driver of the golf cart sustained fatal injuries. The pilot reported no injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not operating on a flight plan. The flight departed from the Coles County Memorial Airport (MTO), Mattoon, Illinois, at 1005, en route to 2H0. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the Shelby County Sheriff's report, the golf cart driver was spraying weed killer around the runway markers prior to the accident.
A witness reported the following in a written statement, "I arrived at the Shelbyville airport at approximately 9:45 am on April 1, 2000. I was there to pick up my son, believing he would arrive around 10:15 am. The [relative of the golf cart driver] and four small children were there... We heard a radio transmission from inside and she said it must be my son calling. We heard the plane before we saw it. It approached from the south, flying in a northern direction. The plane turned to land on the runway behind us, on the west side of the airport. Instead of landing, the plane lifted up again and flew south, then made a sharp turn to head north and came around headed southeast again. [A family member of the driver] commented that they were showing off for me, as we still believed that it was my son arriving. [The family member of the driver] said they were going to land on the grass strip, and that Shelbyville was known for having a very good grass strip. As the plane descended, [The family member of the driver] said they were way off of the runway and she screamed that they were going to hit [the driver] spraying weeds at the east side of the airport. He was headed south with his back to the plane. The plane came down and hit the cart... [The pilot] said "I'm so sorry sir, I didn't see you..."
The pilot reported the following in a written statement. "I departed MTO this date at approximately 1605Z on a pleasure flight to Shelby County Memorial Airport 2H0 for touch and go's on their grass runways. 2H0 is apx 27 nm from MTO on the 265 [degree] radial. Arriving at 2H0 just before 1630Z. I announced L downwind for R14. There was no response. I announced again on turns to base and final. Although there was no response, just turning base, I observed a taperwing was just touching down on R14. I continued the approach, but he did not fully exit the runway, so I announced, and initiated, a go around. On the go-around, I announced three more times on the final announcement, turning base to final, a tri-pacer responded saying they were turning downwind at 2,000 ft. The approach and final was normal, with a normal three-point touchdown. After a few seconds of rollout, the aircraft impacted an unseen, unknown object and came to an abrupt stop, tail up about 45 degrees and sitting on the nose and right wingtip. I still could not see what the aircraft had hit. I shut off the mags, master, electronics, and fuel and looked about. I observed a person apparently lying outboard of the right wings..." "...At no time prior to impact was I aware of any persons or vehicles on the field. I do not recall any flashing beacons or other safety warning signals."
According to the on-scene Federal Aviation Inspector, there was a 430 foot long ground scar from a point located on runway 22 to the accident site. The point on runway 22 was located 40 feet to the southwest from the left edge of runway 14. The accident site was offset approximately 5 feet from the left edge and towards the centerline of runway 14.
The pilot was involved in a landing accident of a Engleman Pitts S1, N64DE, at MTO, on May 15, 1999. The National Transportation Safety Board's probable cause of the accident was, "The pilot's failure to maintain directional control and inadvertent ground loop/swerve. A related factor was the crosswind."
The airport manager stated that the golf cart driver had mowed runways and performed weeding at the airport for approximately two years. The golf cart was green in color and not equipped with vehicle lighting or a radio. He also stated that the airport mowing equipment was equipped with lights. The airport mowing equipment was not equipped with radios.
Advisory Circular 150/5210-5B, Painting, Marking, and Lighting of Vehicles Used on an Airport, states, "This advisory circular (AC) provides guidance, specifications, and standards, in the interest of airport personnel safety and operational efficiency, for painting, marking, and lighting of vehicles operating in the airport air operations area." The AC specifies the color of airfield service vehicles. Under Vehicle Marking, the AC states, "...At airports without air traffic control facilities, flags should be provided on these vehicles." Under Vehicle Lighting, the AC states, "The standard for identification lighting of vehicles routinely operating in the AOA [airport operations area] is an appropriately sized flashing or steady burning beacon, mounted on the uppermost part of the vehicle such that it is conspicuous from any direction including the air..." AC 150/5210-5B is included in this report.
There were no local Notices to Airmen issued for the application of weed killer adjacent to the runway.