Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bell 206B, N52Q, Premier Rotors LLC: Accident occurred March 26, 2016 in Hanford, Kings County, California


NTSB Identification: GAA16CA165
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 26, 2016 in Hanford, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/01/2016
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N52Q
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, he was performing a rehearsal 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 flight, during which he was familiarizing himself with the helicopter's Satlock aerial application system. He reported that while flying at the airspeed of about 60 miles per hour, at 10 feet above ground level, he removed his hand from the collective in order to advance to the next screen on the Satlock display. He recounted that the collective decreased which subsequently decreased the main rotor blade angle and decreased the engine power; the helicopter descended, impacted the terrain, and rolled several times before coming to rest. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the frame, rotor systems and the power train.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or anomalies with the helicopter prior to or during the flight that would have prevented normal flight operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's decision to release the collective while flying at 10 feet above ground level, resulting in the rapid helicopter descent and impact with terrain.

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