Friday, May 05, 2017

Bell 47G-2A, N64702: Accident occurred April 21, 2016 in Los Fresnos, Texas

Additional Participating Entity:  

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Hendrickson Flying Service Inc:

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA161 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, April 21, 2016 in Los Fresnos, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/01/2017
Aircraft: BELL 47G-2A, registration: N64702
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the operator, the commercial pilot of the helicopter was performing an aerial application flight when the helicopter struck a set of power lines that ran perpendicular to the field being sprayed. The operator stated that the lines were obscured due to trees.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's inability to see and avoid the power lines because of trees obscuring his view.

On April 21, 2016, about 1112 central daylight time, a Bell 47G-2A, N64702, collided with power lines, impacted terrain, and caught fire near Los Fresnos, Texas. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, was seriously injured. The helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Hendrickson Flying Service, Inc, Rochelle, Illinois, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from Weslaco, Texas, at an undetermined time.

The following account of the accident is based up a report submitted by the operator because the pilot was seriously injured and was in the hospital: The pilot was spraying a cotton field between two sets of power lines that ran parallel to his flight path. The helicopter struck a third set of power lines that ran perpendicular to the field being sprayed. The power lines were obscured by trees. A ground fire erupted after the accident, resulting in the helicopter being destroyed.

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