The morning started off as normal on an aerial application flight on May 20th, 2023 for pilot Marcus Crutchfield who began his flight at 6:30 am. Unbeknown to Crutchfield, an unknown assailant took aim at his aircraft during the flight and fired, striking the 502 in the right wing flap, shown in images posted to Facebook detailing the incident.
The bullet of unknown caliber struck the wing in an upward trajectory, entering the wing flap from underneath, and exiting on the top side, making an accidental discharge of a weapon unlikely.
Crutchfield, who posted his account of the incident on May 22nd, said “To the person who did this or to anyone that thinks this is appropriate, please take into consideration that I have a family at home that I want to come home to,” he stated.
“I’m an individual whose job just happens to be applying chemicals at low levels with an airplane. As ag pilots, we take precautions in every field and in every pass to ensure the safety of people around the fields as well as ourselves. With that being said, we do our absolute best to take care of our local farmers and farmers across the country.”