Friday, February 05, 2021

Bell 206B JetRanger, N820H: Accident occurred February 04, 2021 in Pahokee, Palm Beach County, Florida

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida 
Rolls Royce; Indianapolis, Indiana 
Bell; Fort Worth, Texas

Roma Air Corporation 

Location: Pahokee, FL
Accident Number: ERA21LA126
Date & Time: February 4, 2021, 00:15 Local 
Registration: N820H
Aircraft: Bell 206 Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Other work use
On February 4, 2021, about 0015 eastern standard time, a Bell 206B, N820H, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Pahokee, Florida. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 agricultural flight.
According to the pilot, the flight was to maintain crop temperatures above 32° F by rotating a warmer thermocline air layer onto crops using the helicopter’s downwash. The preflight inspection, start, and checks were normal, and the first 2 hours of the flight were uneventful. The pilot reported that at the time of the accident, there was about 45 minutes of fuel remaining.
While maneuvering over the crops, at an altitude of about 50 ft, the pilot heard a single chirp with no corresponding caution panel lights; he scanned the instruments and did not observe anything abnormal, then the low rotor horn sounded, and the helicopter immediately started to lose altitude as the rotor speed degraded. The pilot initiated an autorotation but landed hard on uneven terrain. The right skid struck a mound and the left skid touched down in a ditch. The helicopter immediately rolled over and the rotor blades separated as they impacted the surrounding vegetation and terrain. After the helicopter came to rest, a postcrash fire ensued. The pilot and passenger evacuated without injury.
A Federal Aviation Administration inspector reported that the helicopter impacted a sugar cane field at an elevation of 10 ft mean sea level. The wreckage debris path was compact; the tail boom and rotor blades were impact separated.
The helicopter was recovered from the accident site and retained for additional examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information
Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N820H
Model/Series: 206 B 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:
Meteorological Information and Flight Plan
Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: F45,10 ft msl
Observation Time: 00:10 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C /4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3000 ft AGL
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Pahokee, FL
Destination: Pahokee, FL
Wreckage and Impact Information
Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 26.746586,-80.655618 (est)

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