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Sun, Jul 07, 2024

NTSB Prelim: Air Tractor AT502 (A1); Air Tractor AT502

Pilot Of N2032K Stated That He “Yanked And Banked To The Right” To Try And Avoid The Collision

Location: Whiteface, TX Accident Number: CEN24FA221
Date & Time: June 14, 2024, 08:40 Local Registration: N2032K (A1); N8525V (A2)
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT502 (A1); Air Tractor AT502 (A2) Injuries: 1 Serious (A1); 1 Fatal (A2)
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural (A1); Part 137: Agricultural (A2) 

On June 14, 2024, about 0840 central daylight time, Air Tractor AT-502B, N2032K, and Air Tractor AT-502B N8525V were involved in a midair collision near Whiteface, Texas. N2032K sustained substantial damage, and the pilot sustained serious injuries. N8525V sustained substantial damage, and the pilot was fatally injured. Both airplanes were operated as Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 agricultural flights.

The pilot of N2032K reported that he intended to spray the “corners” of the field, and N8525V intended to spray the “center circle”. He stated that they coordinated the plan for N2032K to be the “high man” and N8525V to be the “low man.”

The pilot of N2032K reported that he was making a spray pass from west to east, and the pilot of N8525V was making a pass from north to south when he saw N8525V begin to climb into his flight path. The pilot of N2032K stated that he “yanked and banked to the right” to try and avoid the collision. Debris from both airplanes was scattered across a 700 ft by 400 ft area on a 160° heading and covered the cotton field the pilots were spraying and an adjacent cotton field to the south. Debris from N2032K’s right wing was found at the beginning of the debris field. Black transfer marks were noted on the right composite wing tip pieces from N2032K. Portions of N8525V’s right ring were found among the main wreckage of N2032K.

The wreckage of N8525V was found inverted in a field south of the area where the airplanes were spraying. A ground scar that contained a propeller blade was found about 20 ft north of the main wreckage. A shallow ground scar was found north of the wreckage led up to the fuselage. The wreckage came to rest on a true heading of 310°. A section of the aft fuselage was found separated and faced upwards, and the top of the vertical stabilizer was about 30 ft to the south of the main of the wreckage. The engine displayed significant torsional twisting. Investigators confirmed flight control continuity through impact separations.

The wreckage of N2032K was found in the same field of N8525V on its right side. A ground scar that contained wingtip fragments and pieces of the left navigation light was found about 42 ft northwest of the main wreckage. A ground scar that contained a separated propeller blade and the propeller was found near the nacelle. The wreckage was found about 400 ft east of N8525V and came to rest on a true heading of 036°. The engine displayed significant torsional twisting and was bent in a U shape; two compressor hubs were found liberated from the engine next to the main wreckage. Investigators confirmed flight control continuity through impact separations.

Investigators removed and retained a SATLOC G4 CPU from N8525V and a SATLOC Falcon CPU from N2032K. Both CPUs were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board
Recorders Lab for data recovery. 

Both aircraft were recovered and transported to a secure location for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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