DFW06LA163
DFW06LA163

On June 20, 2006, at 1630 central daylight time, a single-engine Ayres S2R-T34 agricultural airplane, N2292J, was destroyed while maneuvering during an aerial application flight near Colt, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the Hamlin Flying Service, Inc., of Wynne Arkansas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. The local flight originated from a private airstrip and was applying chemical to agricultural fields when the accident occurred.

The 24-year old pilot, who was occupying the center seat, was a commercial pilot with ratings for airplane single land. The pilot's most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued September 20, 2005 and last flight review was completed on May 4, 2006. The pilot was reported to have accumulated a total of 2,400 hours, of which 2,100 hours were in the same make and model aircraft.

The airplane was a 1998 Ayres S2R-T34, which was a tail-wheel equipped single-engine, low-wing, all-metal airplane, used for aerial application of agricultural products, with a fixed landing gear. The Pilot/Operator Accident/Incident Report (NTSB form 6120.1/2) stated that the last annual/100 hour inspection was performed on May 25, 2006. The total time on the airframe, at the time of accident was 2,750 hours. The airplane was powered by a Pratt &Whitney PT6A turboprop engine, serial number PCE-PH0161. The engine had accumulated a total of 2,750 hours, with 50 hours since its last inspection.

The nearest weather recording station to the accident site was the Jonesboro Municipal Airport (KJBR), near Jonesboro, Arkansas, located 37 nautical miles north of the accident site. At 1653 local, KJBR was reporting wind from 010 degrees at 10 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 31 degrees Celsius, dew point 20 degrees Celsius, with an altimeter setting of 29.80 inches of Mercury. The investigator-in-charge calculated the density altitude at 2,133 feet.

The flight originated from a private use airstrip located approximately 2 miles north of the accident site. The pilot was not in communication with air traffic control during the flight. The FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, confirmed that ground scars and damage sustained by the left wing were consistent with ground impact in a left wing low attitude. The left wing tip separated at the initial point of impact and the main fuselage came to rest near a private residence in a wooded area. A post-impact fire consumed the airframe. There were no reported witnesses to the accident.

Toxicological testing was conducted by the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report indicated the finding of tetrahydrocannabinol (the active substance in marijuana) and ranitidine (an over-the-counter anti-acid medication often known by the trade name Zantac) in the blood of the pilot. The report also noted that no carbon monoxide or cyanide was detected in the blood. According to 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.17 (a)(3) No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft while using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety.

The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, near Little Rock, Arkansas, conducted a postmortem examination of the pilot on June 22, 2006. The Arkansas State Medical Examiner reported the cause of death as natural due to idiopathic cardiomyopathy, noting in part that the "autopsy detected no traumatic cause of death. The heart showed diffuse areas of scarring. The cause of the scarring is unknown, however, it may be due to a healed myocarditis." The autopsy report noted that the spinal cord was not examined. A review of the pilot's medical certificate application did not reveal any reported history of heart or vascular trouble or any substance dependence or abuse or use of illegal substance in the last two years.




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