CHI02LA212
CHI02LA212

On July 24, 2002, at 2000 central daylight time, a Grumman G-164, N5296, collided with trees and the terrain following a loss of control in Central City, Nebraska. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post impact fire. The Title 14 CFR Part 137 aerial application flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Central City Municipal Airport, Central City, Nebraska, at 1930.

The pilot reported that he had just finished an aerial application flight, departed the field, and was climbing to return to the airport when the airplane encountered a downdraft. The pilot stated the airplane was at an altitude of 250 feet to 300 feet at the time. The pilot reported that the ceiling had decreased to approximately 800 feet. He reported, "I hit severe turbulence and a severe downdraft." He stated he added full power, but the airplane descended to an altitude of approximately 50 feet where the right wing struck cottonwood trees. The airplane then stalled and descended into a bean field. The pilot reported the fuel tank ruptured during the impact and a post crash fire ensued.

Weather radar images and local obdervations show that thunderstorms were moving into the area at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported on an NTSB Form 6120.1/2, "If I had left the field sooner instead of finishing my load I may have avoided the whole incident."

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