CHI07TA201
CHI07TA201

On July 7, 2007, about 1218 mountain daylight time, N14067, registered as a WSK PZL Meilec PZL M18B airplane, operated by the Department of the Interior, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain while maneuvering for an aerial application of fire retardant near Kyle, South Dakota. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The public use flight was being conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. No flight plan was on file. The pilot sustained minor injuries and was taken to the hospital. The local flight originated from Rapid City, South Dakota, at 1137.

The pilot stated that he was approaching a fire location from the northwest. He was crossing a "burnt area from west to east across gently rolling terrain." When he crossed a ridgeline, he encountered a downdraft and the airplane "wanted to settle." The pilot "pushed [the] nose over and released [the] load." The pilot stated that the airplane would not recover before impacting terrain. He reported no mechanical malfunctions with the airplane in reference to the flight.

At 1252, the recorded weather at the Rapid City Regional Airport, near Rapid City, South Dakota, was: Wind 170 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 19 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 41 degrees C; dew point 1 degree C; altimeter 29.78 inches of mercury.

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