Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bell 47G-2A, N4774S, Barton Aero Inc, and operated by Gilbert Aviation: Accident occurred February 27, 2015 in Ivanhoe, Tulare County, California

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

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA116 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, February 27, 2015 in Ivanhoe, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/06/2017
Aircraft: BELL 47G 2A, registration: N4774S
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.

The commercial pilot was maneuvering the helicopter at low altitude to conduct agricultural spraying operations. While departing the coverage area, the pilot saw power lines and attempted to fly underneath them, but the helicopter’s main rotor mast struck a wire, and the helicopter subsequently collided with terrain. The pilot reported no mechanical failures or malfunctions 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 maintain clearance from a power line while maneuvering at low altitude.

On February 27, 2015, at 1030 Pacific standard time, a Bell 47G 2A, N4774S, collided with a suspended power line 15 miles northeast of Ivanhoe, California. The helicopter was registered to Barton Aero, Inc., and operated by Gilbert Aviation as a 14 Code of Federal Aviation, Part 137 aerial application flight. The commercial pilot was seriously injured, and the helicopter was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who spoke to the pilot, stated that the pilot knew about the power line and attempted to avoid it at the last second by flying under it. The wire caught the main rotor mast and the helicopter came to rest on its right side in an orange tree orchard. The pilot was able to self extract, and sustained numerous broken bones. Examination of the helicopter wreckage by the inspector confirmed that a electrical power cable had wrapped around the helicopter's rotor mast.

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

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fresno, California

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N4774S 

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA116
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, February 27, 2015 in Ivanhoe, CA
Aircraft: BELL 47G 2A, registration: N4774S
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.

On February 27, 2015, at 1030 Pacific standard time, a Bell 47G 2A, N4774S, collided with a suspended power line 15 miles northeast of Ivanhoe, California. The helicopter was registered to Barton Aero, Inc., and operated by Gilbert Aviation as a 14 Code of Federal Aviation, Part 137 aerial application flight. The commercial pilot was seriously injured, and the helicopter was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who spoke to the pilot, stated that the pilot knew about the power line and attempted to avoid it at the last second by flying under it. The wire caught the main rotor mast and the helicopter came to rest on its right side in an orange tree orchard. The pilot was able to self extract, and sustained numerous broken bones. Examination of the helicopter wreckage by the inspector confirmed that a electrical power cable had wrapped around the helicopter's rotor mast.

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

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