Thursday, May 11, 2017

Robinson R44 II, N428JG: Accident occurred May 10, 2017 in Vevay, Jefferson Township, Switzerland County, Indiana

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA279
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 10, 2017 in Vevay, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2017
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44, registration: N428JG
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 reported that he accomplished a high reconnaissance of the field before maneuvering to descend for an agricultural application. He recalled that his attention was split between visually acquiring the intended application area and the indications on his digital map mounted in the cockpit. He descended below a tree line into the intended application area, but “I was still attempting to compare the crop on my field to my map, and was not looking outside the aircraft as diligently as required.” He diverted his attention outside the cockpit and noticed power lines at eye level. He immediately lowered the collective and applied forward cyclic, but the main rotor mast struck the power lines. He landed the helicopter in the field; however, the main rotor blades sustained substantial damage. 

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to see and avoid power lines during an agricultural application flight due to distraction when reading a map.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cincinnati, Ohio

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Registered Owner: St. Louis Helicopter LLC
Operator: AG-Max LLC

http://registry.faa.gov/N428JG


NTSB Identification: GAA17CA279
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 10, 2017 in Vevay, IN
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44, registration: N428JG
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 reported that he accomplished a high reconnaissance before maneuvering to descend for an aerial application. He recalled that his attention was split between visually acquiring the intended application area and the indications on his digital map mounted in the cockpit. He descended below a tree line into the intended application area, but "I was still attempting to compare the crop on my field to my map, and was not looking outside the aircraft as diligently as required." He diverted his attention outside the cockpit and noticed powerline wires at eye level. He asserted that he immediately lowered the collective and applied forward cyclic, but the main rotor mast struck the powerline wires. He landed the helicopter in the field, however, the main rotor blades sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

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