On June 23, 2005, about 1740 central daylight time, a single-engine Cessna A188B agricultural airplane, N9071R, was destroyed following a loss of control while maneuvering at low altitude near Piggott, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological condition prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. The local flight departed from a private airstrip near Kennett, Missouri, approximately 1725. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The first witness, a ground crewmember, reported the pilot was spraying a "sensitive" cotton field in an east to west direction. Starting at the south end of the field, the pilot made the first pass and pulled up over a levee and tree line before disappearing from his view. After about 45 seconds the crewmember became concerned when the airplane did not return and radioed the pilot. The pilot did not respond.
A second witness was driving in his vehicle when he observed the airplane. He reported that the airplane climbed at a steep angle and appeared to stall before coming "straight back down." The witness did not see the airplane hit the ground. Upon his arrival at the accident site the airplane was engulfed in flames.
According to a third witness, the airplane came "straight down," impacted terrain, and "exploded."
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector and an a representative from the Cessna Aircraft Company performed an on-scene examination of the wreckage. The inspector and the manufacturer's representative reported that the airplane impacted into a field while at a steep angle of descent, on an approximate 270-degree heading. Ground evidence and scars revealed the left wing impacted the terrain first and the airplane came to rest in an upright position on a heading about 360-degrees. The energy path was approximately 100 feet long. Flight control cable continuity was established to the airplane's flight controls. The flaps were found partially extended and the elevator trim actuator was found in the neutral position. A post-impact fire consumed the cockpit and both wings.
The pilot held a commercial certificate for airplane single-engine land. His last second-class FAA medical was issued on April 21, 2005. At that time he reported having accumulated a total of 225 hours with 50 hours in the last 6 months. The pilot's logbook was not available for review during the course of the investigation.
The 1975-model Cessna A188B, serial number 18802097T, was a single seat, low wing, semi-monocoque airplane, configured for agricultural spraying. The airplane was powered by a direct drive, horizontally opposed, fuel injected, normally aspirated, six-cylinder Continental IO-520-D engine, rated at 300 horsepower at 2,850 rpm and was driving a two bladed constant speed McCauley propeller. According to the airframe logbook, the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on March 26, 2005, with a total time of 4,499.1 hours. The engine logbook revealed that the engine had been inspected in accordance with a 100-hour inspection on March 26, 2005, and at that time had accrued 1,025.7 hours since its last major overhaul.
The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, near Little Rock, Arkansas, performed an autopsy on the pilot on June 27, 2005. Specimens for toxicological tests were taken from the pilot by the medical examiner.
The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute's (CAMI) Forensic and Accident Research Center examined the specimens taken by the medical examiner. The results of analysis of the specimens were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ingested volatiles, and tested drugs.
The closest weather reporting station to the accident site was located at Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport (POF), near Poplar Bluff, Missouri, about 24 nautical miles north of the accident site. At 1755, the weather observation facility reported wind from 200 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear of clouds, temperature 93 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 64 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.00 inches of Mercury.