Runway excursion Accident Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee ZS-FDT, Wednesday 20 December 2023
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Date:Wednesday 20 December 2023
Time:15:33 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA25 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee
Registration: ZS-FDT
MSN: 25-4429
Total airframe hrs:10545 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:10 nm NW of Ottosdal -   South Africa
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Noods Hulp Private Airstrip
Destination airport:Noods Hulp Private Airstrip
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A Piper PA 25-235 with registration ZS-FDT was engaged in an agricultural crop-spraying operation at Noods Hulp farm, 10 nautical miles (nm) north-west of Ottosdal when the accident occurred. The flight was conducted under visual meteorological conditions (VMC) by day,

According to the pilot's report, the aircraft deployed to the farm on 19 December 2023, and the pilot commenced with the crop-spraying operation on the same day. The following morning on 20 December 2023, the pilot had planned to commence at 0400Z to complete the crop-spraying operation he started the day before and, thereafter, proceed to the next farm which is situated approximately 50 kilometres (km) from Noods Hulp.
According to the pilot, the operation was postponed due to the prevailing strong winds on the day, and ground crew had to wait until the weather conditions had improved. There was about 65 litres of Avgas in the fuel tank for the operation, which was sufficient.

After the weather had cleared at around 1500Z, the pilot conducted the pre-flight checks on the aircraft and, thereafter, took off from the prepared runway strip and repositioned overhead the farm to commence with the first crop-spray run, which was uneventful. The aircraft returned to the airstrip to load the spraying solution in preparation for the second spray run. During the take-off roll at approximately 1533Z, the aircraft's right main landing gear came into contact with the soft sand and the aircraft veered off to the right of the runway. The pilot attempted to steer the aircraft to the left and was unsuccessful. The aircraft pivoted 180 degrees and skidded sideways towards the left of the runway, which exacerbated the damage to the main landing gears which broke off. In addition, whilst the aircraft skidded, it impacted the perimeter fence which led to damage to both wings and the propeller blades.

After the aircraft had come to a stop, the pilot disembarked unassisted and with no injuries. The aircraft sustained substantial damage to the main landing gears that broke off, both wings' leading edges, and the propeller blades. Also, the crop-spraying apparatus was destroyed.

Probable Cause
The pilot lost direction control of the aircraft during take-off, and it veered off to the right of the runway and impacted the barrier fence.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Report number: CA18/2/3/10402
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 5 months
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

2 June 2005 ZS-FDT GPS Co-ordinate: S29° 22.0524' E030° 42.4670'
Collision with pole or wires


Revision history:

04-Jun-2024 04:56 ASN Added
04-Jun-2024 04:59 ASN Updated [Aircraft type, Total fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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