Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Bell 206B, N6BU: Accident occurred July 18, 2022 in Verona, Grundy County, Illinois

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. 

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Williams, David 

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Chicago, Illinois 
Rolls Royce

Top Gun Precision Ag LLC

Location: Verona, Illinois
Accident Number: CEN22LA323
Date and Time: July 18, 2022, 18:49 Local
Registration: N6BU
Aircraft: Bell 206B
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

On July 18, 2022, about 1849 central daylight time, a Bell 206B3 helicopter, N6BU, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Verona, Illinois. The pilot was uninjured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 137 aerial application flight.

The pilot reported that after takeoff from a load truck, he received a low rotor alarm and the helicopter began to sink. He performed an autorotation, bounced upon landing, and came to a full stop. A postaccident examination revealed that helicopter sustained substantial damage when the main rotor blades contacted and severed the tailboom from the airframe.

The pilot stated that this was not the first flight of the day and before departure, he had about 30 gallons of fuel and 80 gallons of spray product.

A detailed wreckage examination is pending.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell 
Registration: N6BU
Model/Series: 206B
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built:
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: KC09,584 ft msl 
Observation Time: 18:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C /21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 290°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Verona, IL 
Destination: Verona, IL

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: 41.199351,-88.502097 (est)

Helicopter lifted off of truck to conduct aerial spraying and lost power resulting in a hard landing. 

Date: 19-JUL-22
Time: 00:00:00Z
Regis#: N6BU
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: 206
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

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