Friday, May 15, 2020

Bell OH-58C Kiowa, N183MP: Accident occurred May 14, 2020 in Livingston, Columbia County, New York

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albany, New York

Air One Mobility Inc

NTSB Identification: ERA20CA184
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 14, 2020 in Livingston, NY
Aircraft: BELL OH-58C, registration: N183MP

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Rotorcraft hovering over cherry trees to keep frost from forming and crashed in a field when tail rotor struck a tree.

Date: 14-MAY-20
Time: 07:50:00Z
Regis#: N183MP
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: OH58C
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: OTHER
Operation: 91

LIVINGSTON — A helicopter flying low to prevent frost from forming on fruit trees at Klein’s Kill Fruit Farms went down early Thursday morning in Livingston, according to Livingston Fire Chief Paul Jahns IV.

Two men in the helicopter, the pilot and a passenger, were not injured in the crash, according to state police Public information Officer Aaron Hicks.

Livingston firefighters and Northern Dutchess Paramedics were dispatched by Columbia County 911 to an area near 115 Cold Spring Road around 3:29 a.m. after the crash was reported by an employee of Klein’s Kill Farm, state police said.

Firefighters were able to locate the downed rotorcraft in a field off Kilbar Road, around 700 feet from where the fire company was dispatched, Jahns said.

The  Bell OH-58C Kiowa was working in Klein’s Kill Fruit Farms’ orchards, attempting to keep frost from forming on their trees, according to an accident report by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The rotorcraft was hovering over cherry trees when a tail rotor on the helicopter struck a tree, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the crash along with members of the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation from the Livingston barracks.

The helicopter is owned by Air One Mobility Inc of Kingston. The company operates from the Kingston Ulster Airport, state police said.

Klein’s Kill Fruit Farms rents helicopters that fly above the apple trees to prevent freezing, said owner Russ Bartolotta.

The helicopters create a temperature inversion by bringing warm air from above down to surface level, warming the trees by 3 to 5 degrees, Bartolotta said.

The use of helicopters saved the Klein’s Kill apple crop in 2012, Bartolotta said.

Apples are at a crucial stage in their development, and temperatures as low as 25 degrees could wipe out the crop, Bartolotta said.

Air One Mobility is a nonprofit company funded by donations, according to the company’s website.

The company’s goal is to honor those who served in the military by restoring and maintaining Vietnam-era helicopters to airworthy flight condition so they can be flown and displayed at air shows, memorials, ceremonies and other special events.

1 comment:

  1. They were lucky no injuries. The shutdown of air shows and tribute events reduces donations to flying non profit groups, so no surprise adding some donation-based orchard work to make up the shortfalls.

    Hope there is insurance to help with repairs, gonna be expensive to put back in service.