|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : mlu|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 8|
agl bound upper : 100
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 320|
flight time total : 10000
flight time type : 10000
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
A situation occurred on the morning of 8/88, between the hours of XA40 to XB25, which resulted in publicity which led to an on-site inspection by FAA aviation safety inspector, from baton rouge, la. As PIC of an small aircraft, an ag aircraft, I sprayed chemicals on 100 acres of cotton adjoining us highway 165, approximately 10 mi south of monroe. The crop being sprayed was that located near monroe, la. The chemical being dispensed was a mixture of methyl parathion and karate in a 97% water solution prescribed by a licensed entomologist, hired to make such recommendations. The chemical was dispensed according to label instructions and within the procedure prescribed in part 137 of the federal aviation regulations. Between highway 165 and the cotton plants is a strip approximately 220-240' wide which includes the highway right of way and ditches, a railroad right of way and tracks, and turning rows for the cotton fields. A flagman was positioned between the field and the railroad track, directing the swaths made by my plane. At no time did the plane cover the same area with 2 swaths. Each swath was approximately 60' in width. Spray was directed at the cotton. No spray was released over the track there was not sufficient wind to cause appreciable drift. (See attached letter stating winds calm at 15' above ground.) I flew over and observed about 8-10 workers on the railroad tracks. No workers could have been flown over more than once unless they deliberately moved down the track to position themselves in the next pass. I did not observe any such movement. The flagman, who arrived at the field about 10 mins before the plane, said that he told the work crew that the field was about to be sprayed and he advised them to move. It took between 30-45 mins to spray the entire 100 acre field. The only unusual occurrence that I noted during this particular application was that on the first approach into the field, at least 2 and perhaps 3 or more of the workers on the track threw what appeared to be rocks at my plane. (This particular railroad bed is covered with rocks.) around noon on that same day, 43 railroad workers were taken to the emergency room of the medical center in monroe. On the following day, I made an official report to the la department of agriculture. On that same day, I received an on-site inspection from the FAA office in baton rouge, la. A copy of that report is attached (FAA form 8620-1). In addition to the written aircraft condition notices, there was also an oral notice that the aircraft registration application and bill of sale were not in the airplane. This certificate was not in the plane because only a few days prior I had purchased this plane from a bank, and although they had received my check for the plane, they were holding all paperwork as it was being processed through the oklahoma office. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: reporter discovered that railroad had recently been served with a $20 million lawsuit over toxic waste on land it leased to another company. Feels company concerned about future problems re: spray, so taking no chances. Thus overreactions to problem. FAA rep said would have been no problem and no investigation if newspapers had not been involved. FAA also stated wind was 20 KTS, but would not say where he got his information. Thus reporter's letter from the university. Wife tried to convince him to accept a suspension if FAA decides it necessary. Almost agreed, but decided he had done nothing wrong and will fight to prove it.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AGRICULTURAL SPRAY ACTIVITY.
Narrative: A SITUATION OCCURRED ON THE MORNING OF 8/88, BTWN THE HRS OF XA40 TO XB25, WHICH RESULTED IN PUBLICITY WHICH LED TO AN ON-SITE INSPECTION BY FAA AVIATION SAFETY INSPECTOR, FROM BATON ROUGE, LA. AS PIC OF AN SMA, AN AG ACFT, I SPRAYED CHEMICALS ON 100 ACRES OF COTTON ADJOINING US HWY 165, APPROX 10 MI S OF MONROE. THE CROP BEING SPRAYED WAS THAT LOCATED NEAR MONROE, LA. THE CHEMICAL BEING DISPENSED WAS A MIXTURE OF METHYL PARATHION AND KARATE IN A 97% WATER SOLUTION PRESCRIBED BY A LICENSED ENTOMOLOGIST, HIRED TO MAKE SUCH RECOMMENDATIONS. THE CHEMICAL WAS DISPENSED ACCORDING TO LABEL INSTRUCTIONS AND WITHIN THE PROC PRESCRIBED IN PART 137 OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION REGS. BTWN HWY 165 AND THE COTTON PLANTS IS A STRIP APPROX 220-240' WIDE WHICH INCLUDES THE HWY RIGHT OF WAY AND DITCHES, A RAILROAD RIGHT OF WAY AND TRACKS, AND TURNING ROWS FOR THE COTTON FIELDS. A FLAGMAN WAS POSITIONED BTWN THE FIELD AND THE RAILROAD TRACK, DIRECTING THE SWATHS MADE BY MY PLANE. AT NO TIME DID THE PLANE COVER THE SAME AREA WITH 2 SWATHS. EACH SWATH WAS APPROX 60' IN WIDTH. SPRAY WAS DIRECTED AT THE COTTON. NO SPRAY WAS RELEASED OVER THE TRACK THERE WAS NOT SUFFICIENT WIND TO CAUSE APPRECIABLE DRIFT. (SEE ATTACHED LETTER STATING WINDS CALM AT 15' ABOVE GND.) I FLEW OVER AND OBSERVED ABOUT 8-10 WORKERS ON THE RAILROAD TRACKS. NO WORKERS COULD HAVE BEEN FLOWN OVER MORE THAN ONCE UNLESS THEY DELIBERATELY MOVED DOWN THE TRACK TO POS THEMSELVES IN THE NEXT PASS. I DID NOT OBSERVE ANY SUCH MOVEMENT. THE FLAGMAN, WHO ARRIVED AT THE FIELD ABOUT 10 MINS BEFORE THE PLANE, SAID THAT HE TOLD THE WORK CREW THAT THE FIELD WAS ABOUT TO BE SPRAYED AND HE ADVISED THEM TO MOVE. IT TOOK BTWN 30-45 MINS TO SPRAY THE ENTIRE 100 ACRE FIELD. THE ONLY UNUSUAL OCCURRENCE THAT I NOTED DURING THIS PARTICULAR APPLICATION WAS THAT ON THE FIRST APCH INTO THE FIELD, AT LEAST 2 AND PERHAPS 3 OR MORE OF THE WORKERS ON THE TRACK THREW WHAT APPEARED TO BE ROCKS AT MY PLANE. (THIS PARTICULAR RAILROAD BED IS COVERED WITH ROCKS.) AROUND NOON ON THAT SAME DAY, 43 RAILROAD WORKERS WERE TAKEN TO THE EMER ROOM OF THE MEDICAL CENTER IN MONROE. ON THE FOLLOWING DAY, I MADE AN OFFICIAL RPT TO THE LA DEPT OF AGRICULTURE. ON THAT SAME DAY, I RECEIVED AN ON-SITE INSPECTION FROM THE FAA OFFICE IN BATON ROUGE, LA. A COPY OF THAT RPT IS ATTACHED (FAA FORM 8620-1). IN ADDITION TO THE WRITTEN ACFT CONDITION NOTICES, THERE WAS ALSO AN ORAL NOTICE THAT THE ACFT REGISTRATION APPLICATION AND BILL OF SALE WERE NOT IN THE AIRPLANE. THIS CERTIFICATE WAS NOT IN THE PLANE BECAUSE ONLY A FEW DAYS PRIOR I HAD PURCHASED THIS PLANE FROM A BANK, AND ALTHOUGH THEY HAD RECEIVED MY CHK FOR THE PLANE, THEY WERE HOLDING ALL PAPERWORK AS IT WAS BEING PROCESSED THROUGH THE OKLAHOMA OFFICE. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: RPTR DISCOVERED THAT RAILROAD HAD RECENTLY BEEN SERVED WITH A $20 MILLION LAWSUIT OVER TOXIC WASTE ON LAND IT LEASED TO ANOTHER COMPANY. FEELS COMPANY CONCERNED ABOUT FUTURE PROBS RE: SPRAY, SO TAKING NO CHANCES. THUS OVERREACTIONS TO PROB. FAA REP SAID WOULD HAVE BEEN NO PROB AND NO INVESTIGATION IF NEWSPAPERS HAD NOT BEEN INVOLVED. FAA ALSO STATED WIND WAS 20 KTS, BUT WOULD NOT SAY WHERE HE GOT HIS INFO. THUS RPTR'S LETTER FROM THE UNIVERSITY. WIFE TRIED TO CONVINCE HIM TO ACCEPT A SUSPENSION IF FAA DECIDES IT NECESSARY. ALMOST AGREED, BUT DECIDED HE HAD DONE NOTHING WRONG AND WILL FIGHT TO PROVE IT.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.