Pilot Departed The Hangar After Refueling And Re-Loading The Airplane’S Hopper For An Aerial Application Flight
Location: Lind, WA Accident Number: WPR22FA239
Date & Time: July 2, 2022, 17:33 Local Registration: N602GH
Aircraft: Air Tractor Inc AT-602 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural
On July 2, 2022, about 1733 Pacific daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-602, N602GH, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Lind, Washington. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137, aerial application flight. According to a witness, about 1717, the pilot departed the hangar after refueling and re-loading the airplane’s hopper for an aerial application flight. Fifteen minute later, while maneuvering at a low altitude, the airplane impacted a dirt field about 4 nautical miles from the hangar at an elevation of 1,323 ft mean sea level. The wreckage debris path was about 200 ft long and oriented on a magnetic heading of 155 °. The airplane came to rest on a magnetic heading of 060°.
The first point of impact (FPI) was identified with impressions in the ground consistent with the left tire, followed by the left wing, and lower fuselage of the airplane. The FPI contained the left landing gear and fragmented pieces of fiberglass and fuselage. Ground scars and damage to the airplane were consistent with the airplane impacting terrain in a flat, shallow, left-wing low attitude. Fuel odor, consistent with Jet A, was present throughout the debris path. All major components of the airplane were located within the debris field.
The airplane and engine were recovered to a secure facility for further examination.