Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Robinson R44 Raven II, N512RT: Accident occurred July 16, 2021 in Lewisburg, Butler County, Kentucky

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; Louisville, Kentucky

TomKat Aviation LLC

Location: Lewisburg, KY
Accident Number: ERA21LA292
Date & Time: July 16, 2021, 12:20 Local
Registration: N512RT
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

On July 16, 2021, about 1220 central daylight time, a Robinson R44 II, N512RT, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Lewisburg, Kentucky. The commercial pilot was seriously injured, and the pilot-rated passenger received minor injuries. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight.

According to the pilot’s wife the purpose of the flight was to spray a nearby cornfield and the role of the passenger was to assist with the operation of the “Ag Nav mapping system.” Prior to takeoff, the helicopter was filled with “a little over 50 gallons” of spraying solution, which resulted in the helicopter being “barely overweight”, but she and pilot felt it would be “fine.” The pilot told her that when the helicopter took off it “just wouldn't fly” and the low rotor rpm light illuminated. As the pilot flared to land the helicopter landed hard in a level attitude, bounced, touched down again, and rolled on its left side.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the rotor system and fuselage. It was recovered for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N512RT
Model/Series: R44 II NO SERIES 
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: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BWG 
Observation Time: 10:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C /23°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 4300 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 200°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Russelville, KY (4M7)
Destination: Butler County Farmland, KY

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 37.071389,-87.759722 (est)

AIRCRAFT:   2006 Robinson R44 Raven II N512RT, s/n: 11465

Current Total Time: 2697

Last Annual Inspection October 1, 2020                                                        

ENGINE: Lycoming IO-540-AE1A5, s/n: L-31526-48A

Current Total Time 2,645, TSMOH 818

Last OH September 12, 2014 by Gann Aviation

Link to COMPONENT TIME SHEET                                                         

HOURS estimated from logbooks or other information - not guaranteed or warranted

King KX 155A
Garmin GNS 430
Garmin GTX 330
Seaerospace AA125

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  On July 16, 2021 in Butler County, KY, shortly after the aircraft departed from the loading area the low rotor RPM warning annunciated. The pilot attempted to reach a field; however, the spray bars hit a line of trees resulting in the aircraft crashing. The aircraft came to rest in a soybean field. The aircraft had two occupants and a full load of fuel and fertilizer.

DAMAGE:  The helicopter sustained substantial damage throughout as exhibited in the attached photos.

OCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  Aircraft Outside at AMF Aviation, LLC Springfield-Robertson County Airport, TN (M91).  Avionics Inside at AMF Aviation, LLC


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*The posting information is the best to our knowledge.   

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