Crop duster crashes, rookie pilot dies

Crop duster crashes, rookie pilot dies

There are 37 comments on the The Indianapolis Star story from Jul 16, 2007, titled Crop duster crashes, rookie pilot dies. In it, The Indianapolis Star reports that:

A pilot in his first year on the job was killed when his crop dusting plane crashed, his employer said.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Indianapolis Star.

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Erin Burleson

Mesa, AZ

#25 Jul 18, 2007
I want to wish my sincere condolences to all of Russell's family and friends. Russell and I graduated together from P.U. He was an outstanding student and wonderful person to be around. Russell always talked about a career in cropdusting, I am thankful he was given the chance.
BRUCE

Minneapolis, MN

#26 Jul 19, 2007
I’m Bruce I use my real name in Yahoo Mail although I know I don’t have to. Throughout most of last year I worked at the FBO (Owens Field) where Andre Bauer kept his Moony Aircraft. I helped Azalia Leonhardt pull out his aircraft many times.

What’s not known about this story is it’s NOT Andre Bauer’s first mishap. In August of last year I was attending to the Athletic departments King Air on an early afternoon flight when I was watching an aircraft on approach. As it got close I looked in horror as I noticed the landing gear was UP!

I quickly got on the FBO’s radio and called to the person at the line desk,AIRCRAFT LANDING NO GEAR DOWN! NO GEAR DOWN?. At about 2 feet from touchdown Andre pulled up so heard the aircraft strike the runway. Both myself the Pilot from USC’s Athletic department heard and saw the “Strike”.

He (Andre Bauer) went around the landing pattern and this time safely landed. He taxied so fast down to his storage hanger he could have taken off again right then. Following this he locked his aircraft in the storage hanger and forbid anyone from seeing it or inspecting it.

Later that day both the Airport manager (Jim Hamilton) and the FBO manager Kelly Hamilton) told me this:“Andre Bauer’s plane did not strike the runway!”(Wink Wink). even though I saw it do so and heard it too. What bothers me is IF the Airport managers had reported the Aircraft Strike? according to the Law? this accident (yesterday) might not have happened after Andre Bauer got his pilots license pulled for not reporting the Aircraft Strike? in August himself.
NTSB

Minneapolis, MN

#27 Jul 19, 2007
The private airport owner stated:” the pilot wanted to turn the airplane around before starting it. The pilot and three other personnel attempted to move the airplane by hand with “negative results”. The pilot entered the airplane, released the parking brake, exited the airplane, and attempted to move the airplane with “negative results”.
The pilot and passenger entered the airplane. The pilot started the engine, turned the airplane around with “power”and taxied to runway 06 for VFR departure to Columbia”

“Examination of runway 06 by the FAA after the accident revealed the airplane traveled 819 feet on the take off roll before encountering the dirt section of the runway. Two skid marks were present in the dirt section of the runway. The left skid mark was was measured 417 feet long and the right skid mark was measured 388 feet long.. The width of the Mooney M-20 E landing gear is 9 feet and three quarters of an inch long. The distance between the left and right main landing gear is skid marks are 9 feet and three quarters of an inch. Ten feet past the left skid mark appeared to be a tail strike mark on a stone with a bluish color. The bottom of the accident airplane is blue in color”.

Why would the pilot turn the plane around under “power”, taxi, to takeoff when moments earlier four people were unable to roll the plane. Why would you have skid marks over the length of a football field.

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/GenPDF.asp...
SEE COMMENTS

Minneapolis, MN

#28 Jul 19, 2007
get real

New Paris, IN

#29 Jul 23, 2007
Tammy wrote:
People are dying because of airplanes. Congress should ban them.
Maybe Congress should ban people who don't live in the real world! Come on, get a life already.....
Paul Beckman

Swift Current, Canada

#30 Jul 24, 2007
I was thinking of going into the cropdusting business my self but i don't know much all i know is that we paid a guy $4000 to spray 2 fields. Thats good money.
Lise

Phoenix, AZ

#31 Jul 27, 2007
A little more info:

One of the things to find out before buying a house next to farm fields is whether it has crops are going to be dusted.

Crop dusters work when the winds are calm--dawn and dusk are best--to avoid drift.

Crop dusters fly low to apply accurately and avoid drift.

Crop dusting is VERY heavily regulated and it's very difficult work. It's not just some goofy guy out there joyriding, throwing pesticide out to the winds and playing in the power lines. Flying itself is not dangerous. But as flying jobs go, crop dusting is more dangerous than most because they spend a lot of time very close to the ground and tall obstacles.
Pilot

Duncan, OK

#32 Jul 31, 2007
"I saw a car's motor stop once. The car coasted to the curb. All were fine. What happens when a plan's engine stops?

I also once saw a car's tie-rod break while driving down the road. The wheel flipped 90-degrees to travel and the car skidded to a halt. All were fine. What happens when an airplane's wing breaks?"

If the engine stops working, you find a close airport, field, empty road or something and land. The airplane will still create lift and fly as long as your have sufficient airspeed.

If the wing breaks, it probably means you did something in the air you shouldn't have done to cause that kind of stress. Kind of like when idiots get behind the wheel of a car after drinking.
Erik Hollenback

Saint Paul, MN

#33 Jul 31, 2007
jay wrote:
It's lucky he didn't crash into any houses. The crop duster that has been flying by us flys only about 30 feet above the houses and then loops back around and weaves in and out of the power lines. I wish he would stop flying so close to my house
you like to eat i would quess and this is what it takes pilots like us to help feed the world do some research before u make a statement you knownothing about
Jay L

UK

#34 Sep 5, 2007
What ever happened guys, this poor chap lost his life. Lets not forget that.
Flyboy

Park River, ND

#35 Sep 5, 2007
If it wasn't for the aerial applicators of today your next loaf of bread, or box of cereal may cost you twice what you currently pay.
joystick

Kokomo, IN

#36 Sep 5, 2007
maybe he should have spent a little more time on a microsoft simulator.
mouth of the planes

Kalona, IA

#37 Nov 6, 2007
i think that crop dusting can be a dangerus thing but if you are an experinced piolt things are less likely to happen. when stall speed wrote

I saw a car's motor stop once. The car coasted to the curb. All were fine. What happens when a plan's engine stops?

I also once saw a car's tie-rod break while driving down the road. The wheel flipped 90-degrees to travel and the car skidded to a halt. All were fine. What happens when an airplane's wing breaks?

he didnt know what he was talking about. my dad is a drag racer and a mechanic and owns a very good business. he knows more about cars then most mecahnics learn or know in a shop. i want to be a piolt, so ive been studying about planes and how they work and all that kind of stuff, and i know that unless there is some kind of misuse of the plane or the engine is not takin care of there shouldnt be problems. i know how car accidents can be. belive me, i would know that most car accedent happen from missuse of the car. that is all if any of you are going to deny this well you can but ill come back with something to beat you! so you might as well not try, and if you do well you might just be able to change my mind but im just going with what i know the most of. thanks
mouth of the planes

Kalona, IA

#38 Nov 6, 2007
also one more thing, planes are made to withstand any kind of conditions. cars arent as much as planes are. that is all
Canadian Pilot
#41 May 30, 2008
joystick wrote:
maybe he should have spent a little more time on a microsoft simulator.
You don't know what you are talking about.
a fellow aviator

Cheyenne, WY

#42 Jan 12, 2011
I just started crop dusting this year. I would like to offer unique perspective on this event. This hits straight home for me. That could have been me this past year. I am lucky that it wasn't. This brave young was not so lucky... Very, very tragic. the simple fact is that both arguments are right. it is dangerous to drive your car and it is dangerous to fly in an airplane. However, both are essential to our quality of life. This young man died doing what he was talented to do. Several hundred people benifited from him performing his job function as they ate the food from the grocery store. Even if you eat organic it is a good chance that the seads that grew your organic food were tended to by a crop duster. We are all just doing our jobs. This boy was just doing his job and unforseen events led him to his maker too early it seems. When it all comes down to it we all take calculated risks day to day. Some don't understand risks others make, that they wouldn't. I am greatful for the jobs that people do to that I am not willing or otherwise unable to do. Next time we eat an apple or slice of bread or any other produce we can think of what this young man sacrificed so we could enjoy such a high quality food. Rest in peace mate, and wish me luck.
stall_out

Walnut Creek, CA

#43 Mar 27, 2011
..or at least replace your divots

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