Special Investigation Report on the Safety of Agricultural Aircraft Operations

Executive Summary

This special investigation report describes the results of a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) review of 78 accidents that occurred during calendar year 2013 and involved some aspect of agricultural (ag) operations, pilot training, or other crop protection activities. The report identifies the following recurring safety issues:
  • lack of ag operations-specific fatigue management guidance,
  • lack of ag operations-specific risk management guidance,
  • inadequate aircraft maintenance,
  • lack of guidance for pilot knowledge and skills tests.
Safety recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration and to the National Agricultural Aviation Research & Education Foundation are included. The Appendix at the end of the report contains a full listing by NTSB case number of the accidents reviewed for the special investigation.