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NTSB Final Report: Mineral Point, WI

Location:

Mineral Point, Wisconsin

Accident Number:

CEN21LA452

Date & Time:

July 20, 2021, 13:30 Local

Registration:

N44XB

Aircraft:

ROBINSON HELICOPTER R44

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Defining Event:

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Injuries:

1 None

Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

Analysis

The pilot of the helicopter was conducting agricultural application when he noticed the oil pressure light flickering just before making the 180o turn for his next run, and he turned toward a cornfield and made a precautionary landing. The pilot reported that the landing was soft, but the spray boom broke during landing. Two witnesses reported that the helicopter was maneuvering at low altitude and struck a wire before landing in the cornfield. They both reported that the pilot got out and examined the helicopter, got back in, took off, and departed the area. Photographs taken by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector showed that the helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main rotor blades. The pilot reported that he did not feel the impact of the rotor blades with the wire.

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 a wire during an aerial application flight, resulting in a collision with the wire.

Findings

Personnel issues                            Monitoring environment - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

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

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Commercial

Age:

47

Airplane Rating(s):

None

Seat Occupied:

Right

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Helicopter

Restraint Used:

 

Instrument Rating(s):

Helicopter

Second Pilot Present:

 

Instructor Rating(s):

None

Toxicology Performed:

 

Medical Certification:

Class 1 Without waivers/limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

April 1, 2021

Occupational Pilot:

Yes

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

 

Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

ROBINSON HELICOPTER

Registration:

N44XB

Model/Series:

R44

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Year of Manufacture:

2002

Amateur Built:

 

Airworthiness Certificate:

Normal

Serial Number:

1215

Landing Gear Type:

None; Skid

Seats:

4

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

Unknown

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

 

Time Since Last Inspection:

 

Engines:

1 Reciprocating

Airframe Total Time:

 

Engine Manufacturer:

Lycoming

ELT:

 

Engine Model/Series:

O-540-F1B5

Registered Owner:

 

Rated Power:

 

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:

KMRJ

Distance from Accident Site:

 

Observation Time:

16:30 Local

Direction from Accident Site:

 

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Clear

Visibility

10 miles

Lowest Ceiling:

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

8 knots /

Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:

/

Wind Direction:

340°

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

/

Altimeter Setting:

30.09 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

29°C / 18°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

No Obscuration; No Precipitation

 

Departure Point:

Mineral Point, WI

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Destination:

Mineral Point, WI

Type of Clearance:

None

Departure Time:

Type of Airspace:

 

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:

42.874434,-90.208609(est)

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Hatch, Craig

 

Additional Participating Persons:

Mike Brockel; FAA FSDO; Milwaukee, WI

 

Original Publish Date:

March 25, 2022                                                                 

Investigation Class: 4

Note:

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

 

Investigation Docket:

https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket?ProjectID=103963