Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Collision During Landing: Robinson R44 Astro, N570WH; accident occurred July 27, 2020 in Dickeyville, Grant County, Wisconsin

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Dakota, IL
Accident Number: CEN20CA313
Date & Time: 07/27/2020, 1220 CDT
Registration: N570WH
Aircraft: Robinson R44
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision during takeoff/land
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

The airline transport pilot was repositioning the helicopter for an aerial application mission. He departed from a tending truck and flew southwest to a farm. Once at the farm, circled to find an appropriate landing area. The pilot landed the helicopter in a grass patch near a barn and silo, received maps, and talked to a farm representative. The pilot then repositioned the helicopter to load the application chemical. The chemical was in a tank in a hay wagon and the tops of the hay wagon curved outward. He "slowly" set the helicopter down and felt the left skid touch followed by the right skid. The pilot lowered collective after the helicopter touched down and the main rotor blade struck the hay wagon. The helicopter "jumped" and shook violently. Both left and right windshields ejected from the helicopter and the main rotors came to a stop. The pilot attempted to shut down the engine; however, the engine continued to run. He exited the helicopter and applied the fuel cutoff. Smoke was coming from burning oil associated with a "small" fire underneath the helicopter. The pilot used a fire extinguisher to put out that fire. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main and tail rotors, the skids and the helicopter "frames." The pilot reported there was no mechanical malfunction or failure with the helicopter. His safety recommendation stated that when setting the helicopter down near obstacles, recheck rotor clearance before fully lowering collective and be mindful that "the blades will move out of cone."

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 42, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/23/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/19/2020
Flight Time: 7700 hours (Total, all aircraft), 380 hours (Total, this make and model), 6100 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 145 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 107 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson
Registration: N570WH
Model/Series: R44
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1998
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 0538
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/13/2019, Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4627.8 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
Engine Model/Series: O-540-F1B5
Registered Owner: MF Helicopters Llc
Rated Power: 235 hp
Operator: MF Helicopters Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: 4MFG

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFEP, 859 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1215 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 194°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 340°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Dakota, IL
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Dakota, IL
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1145 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 42.439444, -89.515278 (est)

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