FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA San Diego FSDO-09
NTSB Identification: WPR16LA134
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Saturday, July 02, 2016 in Brawley, CA
Aircraft: BELL OH 58A, registration: N6251G
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On July 2, 2016, about 0230 Pacific daylight time, a Bell OH-58A, single engine, agricultural helicopter, N6251G, sustained substantial damage during a precautionary landing near Brawley Municipal Airport (BWC), Brawley, California. The helicopter was registered to the Bank of Utah, and operated by Farm Aviation, Inc., Brawley. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant of the helicopter, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight.
The pilot reported after departing the airport with a full load of chemicals, and prior to starting a new line down a field, the torque gage indication was fluctuating. He initiated a precautionary landing and then landed hard in a field, coming to rest in an upright position.
A follow-up examination of the helicopter, which was conducted by a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), revealed that the tailboom and tail rotor driveshaft had impact damage consistent with a main rotor strike as a result of a hard landing. The examination of the airframe and engine revealed no anomalies.
The helicopter was moved to a secure location and the engine will be shipped to a facility for further examination.