Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Bell OH-58A, N288NS: Accident occurred February 18, 2020 in Calexico, Imperial County, California -and- Accident occurred July 22, 2016 in Lake Mills, Winnebago County, Iowa

Forward Fuselage 


 Top of Helicopter and Engine Compartment 


 Cabin Area 

Left Side of Helicopter 

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

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

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N288NS


Location: Calexico, CA
Accident Number: WPR20CA092
Date & Time: 02/18/2020, 1915 PST
Registration: N288NS
Aircraft:Bell OH 58A 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of lift
Injuries:1 None 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

The commercial pilot reported that during an aerial application flight, he sprayed a row on the field and climbed to avoid wires on the south side of the field. He then made a right turn and began his descent back to the field. After he cleared the wires, he entered the field on the spray line and began raising the collective. He noticed that the torque gauge was responding, however, the rate of descent was not being halted and the helicopter subsequently impacted the ground and came to rest on its right side.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 41, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/18/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/11/2019
Flight Time:  2713 hours (Total, all aircraft), 713 hours (Total, this make and model), 2583 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N288NS
Model/Series: OH 58A No Series
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1970
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 70-15288
Landing Gear Type: High Skid
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/28/2019, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 32 Hours
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 11218 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls Royce
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: C20C SERIES
Registered Owner: Amador Fernandez Jr
Rated Power: 420 hp
Operator: A Farmer Service Corp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: IPL, -54 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time:  PST
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts:
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Imperial, CA (IPL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Imperial, CA (IPL)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1015 PST
Type of Airspace:Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 33.133333, -115.700000 (est)


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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines, Iowa

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

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

Location: Lake Mills, IA
Accident Number: CEN16LA289
Date & Time: 07/22/2016, 1600 CDT
Registration: N288NS
Aircraft: BELL OH 58A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

Analysis

The commercial pilot was performing an agricultural application flight. The pilot reported that, while spraying a field, the helicopter struck a wire that he did not see. The pilot reported that after striking the wire, the helicopter came to a stop, and then the wire broke. The pilot flew the helicopter to the ground, and the helicopter hit hard and then flipped onto its side. The pilot reported no mechanical failures or malfunctions of the helicopter.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's inadequate visual lookout, which resulted in a wire strike.

Findings

Aircraft

Altitude - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Monitoring environment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Wire - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

On July 22, 2016, about 1600 central daylight time, a Bell OH-58A helicopter, N288NS, sustained substantial damage when it struck a wire and the ground during an aerial application pass near Lake Mills, Iowa. The pilot received minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to North Star Holdings, Inc., and operated by North Star Helicopters, Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an agricultural flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The local flight originated from a farm near Northwood, Iowa, about 1430.

The pilot reported that the while spraying a field, he hit a wire that he did not see. The wire went into the upper wire cutter, bringing the helicopter to a stop, and then the wire broke. He flew the helicopter to the ground, hitting hard and the helicopter flipped onto its side. He reported no mechanical failures or malfunctions of the helicopter.

History of Flight

Maneuvering

Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT) (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 52, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/30/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/16/2016
Flight Time:  8712 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1443 hours (Total, this make and model), 8362 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 19 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 14 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Make: BELL
Registration:N288NS 
Model/Series: OH 58A NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 70-15288
Landing Gear Type: High Skid;
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/27/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 9862 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls Royce
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 250-T63-A720
Registered Owner: NORTH STAR HOLDINGS INC
Rated Power: 420 hp
Operator: NORTH STAR HELICOPTER INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: KFZG 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan


Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFXY, 1229 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2055 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 182°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 2000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 70°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 25°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Northwood, IA (PVT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Northwood, IA (PVT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1430 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information


Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: Unknown
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 43.387500, -93.621667

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