CHI07LA207
CHI07LA207

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 12, 2007, at 1937 central daylight time, a Weatherly 620B, N9026E, operated by Frank's Flying Service, collided with power lines during an aerial application flight in Wyoming, Illinois. The commercial pilot succumbed to his injuries five days after the accident. The airplane was substantially damaged. The aerial application flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Kewanee Municipal Airport (EZI), Kewanee, Illinois, at 1900. The intended destination was the Morris Municipal Airport, Morris, Illinois.

According to the aircraft operator, the pilot was spraying fungicide on a 160-acre field. The pilot had completed spraying most of the field and was making clean-up passes when the accident occurred. Data retrieved from a global positioning system receiver in the airplane indicated the pilot sprayed the field by flying an east-west pattern crossing the power lines. He then began making passes in a southeast to northwest direction. The accident occurred the second time he crossed the power lines during the southeast to northwest passes.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 36, held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed incomplete entries. The last entry in the pilot's logbook was dated January 24, 2007. The remarks for this flight, along with an entry in the back of the logbook, indicate the pilot received his flight review during this flight. The previous entry was dated October 15, 2006. The total flight time listed in the logbook was 2,425.5 hours.

The pilot held a second-class medical issued March 26, 2007. The medical certificate did not contain any limitations.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The restricted category airplane was a Weatherly 620B, serial number 1636. The airplane was a single-engine, single-seat, low-wing airplane that had conventional landing gear. The airplane was approved for agricultural and pest control operations. A Honeywell TPE331-1-151A, serial number P-92356C, turboprop engine was installed in the airplane.

According to the aircraft logbook, the last annual inspection was performed on May 8, 2007, at an aircraft total time of 1,355.8 hours.

The engine logbook indicated the last annual inspection on the engine was on May 8, 2007. At that time the engine had accumulated 1,355.8 hours since overhaul. The engine total time since new was listed on April 1, 2006, as being 9,697.5 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

At 1954, the weather conditions reported at the Greater Peoria Regional Airport, (PIA), Peoria, Illinois, located 24 miles south of the accident site were: Wind calm, visibility 10 miles, broken clouds at 8,500 feet, overcast clouds at 10,000 feet, temperature 25 degrees Celsius, dew point 14 degrees Celsius, altimeter 29.95 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane contacted four of the lower lines on a span of high-tension power lines. A section of the left wing, approximately four feet in length, was located near the power lines. The airplane came to rest at the edge of an open field about one-quarter mile away from the power lines.

The airplane was located in an upright position. The empennage was intact. The right wing was separated from the airplane at the fuselage attach point. The inboard section of the left wing remained attached to the fuselage. The leading edge of the left wing and the left main landing gear were not located. The wire deflectors on the right main landing gear and on the cockpit did not show evidence of a wire strike. The structure on the left side of the cockpit sustained impact damage. The structure on the right side of the cockpit was separated. The engine was pushed rearward into the instrument panel. Flight control continuity was established to the extent allowed due to the structural damage. The seat belts were intact and the pilot's helmet was located 30-40 feet in front of the main wreckage. The propeller was separated from the engine and it was located along the flight path between the power lines and the main wreckage. One of the propeller blades contained a semi-circular indentation on the leading edge.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The pilot was transported to a local trauma center where he was treated until he succumbed to his injuries on July 18, 2007.

An autopsy of the pilot was performed by the Peoria County Coroner's Office on July 18, 2007. The final autopsy report listed the cause of death as "Blunt Force Injuries."

A toxicology examination was not performed.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The engine was shipped to Honeywell where it was examined under the supervision of a Federal Aviation Administration inspector from the Scottsdale, Arizona, Flight Standards District Office.

The engine had sustained impact damage. Rotational scoring, dirt, debris, and metal spray were visible throughout the engine.

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