He Noted The Airplane Banked Left, Performed A Barrel Roll To The Left…

Location: Cheneyville, LA Accident Number: ERA22FA350
Date & Time: August 2, 2022, 11:45 Local Registration: N9184Q
Aircraft: Air Tractor Inc AT-502 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

On August 2, 2022, about 1145 CDT, an Air Tractor AT-502, N9184Q, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Cheneyville, Louisiana. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight.

The operator reported that the pilot was scheduled that day to disperse 7 loads of urea fertilizer. The first job was dispersing 5 loads covering 57 acres, and the second job was dispersing 2 loads to trim the edges of an adjacent 35-acre field. The pilot had completed the first job and was on his last load of the second job at the time of the accident. Company loading personnel were not present and did not witness the accident.

One witness reported that he was in a commercial vehicle as a passenger with the windows up. Their vehicle was driving in a northbound direction on I-49 and had just exited the highway at exit 56, which was the off ramp that the airplane impacted. He saw the airplane flying between 50 and 100 ft above ground level from west to east, flying over the south bound lanes of I-49, then flew over the north bound lanes of I-49. He noted the airplane banked left, performed a barrel roll to the left and briefly at the start he noted a puff of white smoke. The airplane then nosed down and impacted the ground. He reported the smoke did not continue to ground contact. The driver parked the truck, the witness grabbed his phone, called 911, and he went to the accident site.

Another witness reported seeing the airplane flying over I-49 at mile marker 56. She reported, “…the [airplane] went belly up and then rolled to head straight into the ground.”

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov