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On May 21, 2012, about 0637 Pacific daylight time (PDT), a Grumman G-164D, N8267K, impacted terrain during an agricultural application flight near Nicolaus, California. Farm Air Flying Service, Inc., was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 137. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The local agricultural flight departed from Farm Air Service facility, Sacramento, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
Witnesses saw the airplane make a low pass across a field, make a hard banking turn to return towards the field, and impact the ground.
The operator reported that the pilot had departed from their base of operations 10 miles south of the accident site to apply 1,000 lbs of fertilizer to a rice field.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane came to rest right side up, and the nose of the airplane was partially submerged in the rice field. The airplane impacted the rice field in a nose-low wings level attitude.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The Sutter County Coroner completed an autopsy on May 22, 2012. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma. The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of specimens of the pilot.
Analysis of the specimens contained no findings for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles.The report contained the following findings for tested drugs: 16.6 (ug/ml) acetaminophen detected in blood.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
Investigators examined the wreckage at Plain Parts, Sacramento, on September 27, 2012.
The airframe and engine were examined with no mechanical anomalies identified that would have precluded normal operation.
The airplane was equipped with a Satloc M3 GPS data logging system. The unit was recovered and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder lab for downloading. A factual report is attached to the docket. The download shows the track of the accident airplane during the 13-minute flight as it was applying the fertilizer to the rice field. No abnormal tracks were noted prior to the accident.