On March 22, 2001, at about 1830 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-25-235, registered to a private owner, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 aerial application training flight by Howell Crop Dusting, crashed in an open field in the vicinity of Bainbridge, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. The flight originated from Decatur County Industrial Airpark, Bainbridge, Georgia, about 15 minutes before the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
A citizen who resides in the local area observed the airplane in an open field. He informed his wife to call 911, and he departed his residence to check on the airplane. Rescue personnel arrived at the accident site, and transported the injured pilot to a local area hospital.
The pilot stated he was conducting practice agricultural spray runs in a field located about 1.5 miles west of Bainbridge Airport. The sun was setting and it was pretty bright so he was making his spray runs from north to south to avoid the sun. He stated he does not recall the accident but he may have turned into the sun and collided with the terrain.
The pilot's flight instructor stated he returned from a flight between 6:00 P.M. and 6:15 P.M. landing on runway 27. He noted that the sun was directly down the runway about a foot or two above the horizon and was very bright. As he was taxiing in, he observed the accident pilot about to take off from runway 27. He called him on the radio and informed him not to make any runs towards the sun while he was in the field because it could be very dangerous. The pilot acknowledged his transmission and departed. About 15 to 20 minutes later, a student came to his room and stated they heard an engine stop dead, and thought it was the Citabra. He immediately got hold of a handheld radio and called the Citabra, and did not get an answer. He called the owner of Howell crop Dusting and reported the incident. Another pilot was landing at the airport, and he asked him to search the ground west of the airport for an orange Citabra. He called back a few minutes later and he stated he had spotted the wreckage , but stated that it looked more like a Pawnee than a Citabra.
Examination of the crash site by the registered owner and the FAA revealed the right wing tip collided with the ground about 75 feet from the major impact site in a right bank. The airplane continued forward and collided with the ground in a nose down left wing low attitude before coming to a complete stop. Examination of the airframe, flight controls, and engine assembly revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction.