Sunday, July 17, 2022

Collision with Terrain / Object (non-CFIT): Bell OH-58A Kiowa, N9287U; accident occurred April 01, 2022 in Merced, California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fresno, California

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

American AG Aviation Inc

Location: Merced, California
Accident Number: WPR22LA140
Date and Time: April 1, 2022, 12:15 Local
Registration: N9287U
Aircraft: Bell OH-58A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural


The pilot in the helicopter reported that, he was conducting an agricultural aerial application flight. Before he started the spray operation, he overflew the field to identify obstacles. While approaching the northeast corner of the fields from the south, he overflew one set of wires, “ducked down” into the corner to spray, and pulled up as he approached the edge of the field. As he pulled up, he saw wires he had not seen before and tried to hit them with the wire cutter installed on the helicopter. The helicopter impacted the wires, descended, and impacted the ground. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to see and avoid wires while conducting an aerial application flight, which resulted in a wire strike and ground impact.


Personnel issues Monitoring environment - Pilot
Environmental issues Wire - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: February 15, 2022
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 16, 2022
Flight Time: 2336 hours (Total, all aircraft), 647 hours (Total, this make and model), 1970 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 35 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 35 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4.2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell 
Registration: N9287U
Model/Series: OH-58A 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted (Special)
Serial Number: 71-20428
Landing Gear Type: Skid 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: February 28, 2022 100 hour 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 178 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Turbo shaft
Airframe Total Time: 6369 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls Royce
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 250-C2-OC
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 420 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural aircraft (137)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMCE,153 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 12:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 55°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 332°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: Unknown

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 37.189404,-120.68928

No comments:

Post a Comment