FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Spokane FSDO-13
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA405
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, July 29, 2016 in Outlook, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2016
Aircraft: BELL 206, registration: N1087N
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.
The pilot of a helicopter performing aerial application reported that his loader laid the water hose across the skids due to the location of the helicopter's fill port and the ground water tank. After the loading was complete, the pilot reported that during takeoff, "the helicopter felt like the skids were dragging through the dirt even though I knew I was at least 5 [feet] above the ground." The pilot further reported that he realized the water hose nozzle had snagged on the helicopter's skid and he attempted to abort the takeoff. As soon as he began the abort, the helicopter nosed down, impacted terrain, and rolled over to the right.
The pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.
The loader, who also witnessed the accident, reported that this was the last load of the day for this spray location. He further reported that as the helicopter entered a hover, he noticed a hose lying over the right skid and he "waved and screamed" to the pilot, but he had already turned out of view. The loader subsequently observed the "dry lock nozzle" hook onto the right skid and the helicopter "lurched to the right" and impacted terrain.
The loader assisted the pilot in an emergency evacuation, as they both observed a post-crash fire. The nearby water truck was empty and the helicopter was destroyed by the post-crash fire.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot and ground crew's failure to visually inspect the helicopter's skids before takeoff, which resulted in a water hose becoming entangled on the right skid, a loss of control, an impact with terrain, and a post-crash fire.
Yakima County Sheriff's deputies say the pilot was taking off in a JR helicopter for agricultural spraying Friday in the 100 block of Floral Lane when it crashed and caught fire. The undeveloped field the helicopter landed in also caught fire said deputies.
The pilot was able to escape the aircraft before it caught flame said deputies.
Yakima County Fire and Rescue and deputies responded to the area around 7 a.m. Friday morning and put out the fire.
The pilot was taken to Sunnyside Community Hospital for evaluation and treatment according to deputies.
The helicopter was a total loss and is estimated at around $300,000.
The Federal Aviation Administration, (FAA) is investigating the incident.