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NTSB Final Report: Waukon, Iowa

Location:

Waukon, Iowa

Accident Number:

CEN21LA350

Date & Time:

August 4, 2021, 08:15 Local

Registration:

N775AK

Aircraft:

ROBINSON HELICOPTER R44

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Defining Event:

Low altitude operation/event

Injuries:

1 Minor

Flight Conducted Under: mPart 137: Agricultural

Analysis

The pilot was conducting an agricultural application pass when the helicopter struck a powerline crossing the cornfield being sprayed. He did not see the line until exiting the helicopter after the accident. Earlier in the morning he had surveyed the area for obstacles but did not observe any lines crossing the field. The pilot commented that his initial survey pass was completed toward the east with the sun “low in the sky and in [his] eyes.” He noted that there were no issues with the helicopter before contacting with the power line. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main rotor system, the fuselage, and the empennage.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate clearance from a powerline during an agricultural application pass.

Findings

Environmental issues Aircraft

Personnel issues

Wire - Awareness of condition Altitude - Not attained/maintained

Monitoring environment - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying           Low altitude operation/event (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Commercial

Age:

66,Male

Airplane Rating(s):

Single-engine land; Single-engine sea

Seat Occupied:

Right

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Helicopter

Restraint Used:

3-point

Instrument Rating(s):

Airplane

Second Pilot Present:

No

Instructor Rating(s):

None

Toxicology Performed:

 

Medical Certification:

Class 2 With waivers/limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

September 24, 2020

Occupational Pilot:

Yes

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

March 15, 2021

Flight Time:

27652 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3015

hours (Total, this make and model)

 

 Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

ROBINSON HELICOPTER

Registration:

N775AK

Model/Series:

R44

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Year of Manufacture:

2008

Amateur Built:

 

Airworthiness Certificate:

Restricted (Special)

Serial Number:

1875

Landing Gear Type:

Skid

Seats:

4

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

March 10, 2021 Annual

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

2400 lbs

Time Since Last Inspection:

187.9 Hrs

Engines:

1 Reciprocating

Airframe Total Time:

1973.5 Hrs at time of accident

Engine Manufacturer:

Lycoming

ELT:

Not installed

Engine Model/Series:

O-540-F1B5

Registered Owner:

 

Rated Power:

260 Horsepower

Operator:

 

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:

DEH,1158 ft msl

Distance from Accident Site:

16 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

07:55 Local

Direction from Accident Site:

273°

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Clear

Visibility

7 miles

Lowest Ceiling:

None

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

0 knots / 0 knots

Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:

/

Wind Direction:

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

/

Altimeter Setting:

30.14 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

16°C / 16°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

No Obscuration; No Precipitation

 

Departure Point:

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Destination:

Waukon, IA

Type of Clearance:

None

Departure Time:

Type of Airspace:

Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 Minor

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

1 Minor

Latitude, Longitude:

43.261185,-91.375664

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Sorensen, Timothy

 

Additional Participating Persons:

Patrick Blaskovich; FAA Flight Standards; Ankeny, IA

 

Original Publish Date:

November 16, 2021                                                           Investigation Class:

4

Note:

The NTSB did not travel to the scene of this accident.

 

Investigation Docket:

https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket?ProjectID=103624

 





Created 192 days ago
by Admin

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