Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Robinson R66 Turbine, N7078V: Accident occurred June 27, 2021 near Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport (KEQY), Monroe, Union County, North Carolina

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; Charlotte, North Carolina

Chopper Ag Services LLC

Location: Waxhaw, NC 
Accident Number: ERA21LA270
Date & Time: June 27, 2021, 11:43 Local
Registration: N7078V
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N7078V
Model/Series: R66 
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: EQY,679 ft msl
Observation Time: 11:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C /20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3300 ft AGL 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.25 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Waxhaw, NC
Destination: Waxhaw, NC

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 34.967021,-80.646883 

Union County Sheriff's Office

A helicopter pilot managed to walk away from a crash Sunday morning after the aircraft struck power lines.

UCSO deputies, firefighters and other emergency personnel responded to an rotorcraft emergency in the 1300 block of Roscoe Howey Road (Waxhaw) at approximately 11:43 am Sunday.

Deputies learned that the rotorcraft struck power lines while cropdusting the nearby fields. 

The pilot was reportedly not injured. The FAA was notified and will investigate the matter further.

This marks the 3rd event in Union County since 2019 involving cropdusting helicopters crashing after striking power lines. The first two incidents resulted in fatalities.

UNION COUNTY, North Carolina (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Some are calling it a miracle. A pilot was able to walk away from a helicopter crash in Waxhaw over the weekend.

Just before 12 p.m. Sunday, the pilot crashed a helicopter along Roscoe Howey Road. The pilot was crop dusting a cornfield when he flew into power lines.

“He did make a comment to one of our deputies that he got too low and hit the power lines,” Union County Chief Deputy Tony Underwood said.

FOX 46 got an up-close look at the plane. The thin, green wires were tangled around the Robinson R66 Turbine.

The pilot was spraying a fertilizer over the corn field when he crashed.

“When you see three of these events in Union County since October of 2019, the first two being fatal, it does raise a red flag,” Underwood said.

This is the third time in just a few years that a crop-dusting helicopter has crashed in Union County after hitting some power lines. It’s the second time it’s happened in just a few months. Thankfully, in this circumstance, the pilot was able to walk away unharmed.

In 2019, Andrew Stephenson, 54, of Florida died when he flew his helicopter into a power line.

And as recently as this May, a pilot died near Wingate performing the same task.

According to the NTSB accident report, witnesses were surprised to see aerial dusting because there were multiple power lines over the field.

Some in the crop-dusting business tell FOX 46 crop dusters typically only perform the task for five or so years because it’s so dangerous.

The NTSB and FAA are investigating this latest crash.

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