Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Bell OH-58A Kiowa, N176SJ: Fatal accident occurred May 18, 2021 in Ulysses, Grant County, Kansas

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; Wichita, Kansas

Tri Rotor Spray & Chemical

Location: Ulysses, KS
Accident Number: CEN21LA225
Date & Time: May 18, 2021, 14:30 Local
Registration: N176SJ
Aircraft: Bell OH58A 
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

On May 18, 2021, about 1430 central daylight time, a Bell OH-58A helicopter, N176SJ, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Ulysses, Kansas. The pilot initially survived the accident but succumbed to his injuries on May 20, 2021. The helicopter was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight.

According to preliminary information, the pilot was flying the helicopter for an aerial application flight. During his turn to reverse course, the helicopter collided with a transmission wire that ran along the side of the field. The helicopter subsequently descended and impacted terrain and was destroyed. The accident occurred on the pilot’s 21st pass spraying the field.

The helicopter was transported to a secure facility for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N176SJ
Model/Series: OH58A NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural aircraft (137)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGCK,2882 ft msl 
Observation Time: 13:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 38 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C /13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 10000 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / 17 knots, 130°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Ulysses, KS
Destination: Ulysses, KS

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 37.565617,-101.37033 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

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