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NTSB Final Report: Oxnard, CA

Location:

Oxnard, California

Accident Number:

WPR19LA135

Date & Time:

May 4, 2019, 09:45 Local

Registration:

N49643

Aircraft:

Bell 206

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Defining Event:

Inflight upset

Injuries:

1 Serious

Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

Analysis

The operator reported that this was the helicopters third flight of the day. However, this was the first paint material load of the day. As the pilot made his third pass over the greenhouses, he noticed that he was using more left cyclic to maintain level flight. He continued to spray in attempt to correct any load imbalances, however, the helicopter continued to lean further to the right. The pilot maneuvered away from the greenhouses. The helicopter’s right turn continued to increase until it impacted the ground at about a 45o bank. A post impact fire ensued and completely consumed the helicopter.

The operator further reported that the helicopter was equipped with 2, 60-gallon mixture tanks mounted on each side of the aircraft. The tanks were connected through a transfer equalizing tube which fed a centrally located electric pump. The pump then sent the wash through the spray booms. The operator mentioned that they believe one of the mixture tanks stopped transferring, which would cause the helicopter to be imbalanced. Due to the destruction of the helicopter during impact and the post impact fire there was not enough evidence to determine if there were any mechanical anomalies with the helicopter or spray system.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot’s inability to maintain control of the helicopter while maneuvering at a low altitude due to reasons that could not be determined based on available evidence.

Findings

Personnel issues Not determined

Aircraft

Aircraft control - Pilot

(general) - Unknown/Not determined (general) - Attain/maintain not possible

Factual Information

On May 4, 2019, about 0945 Pacific daylight time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N49643, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Oxnard, California. The pilot was seriously injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 133 aerial application flight.

The operator reported that this was the helicopters third flight of the day. However, this was the first paint material load of the day. As the pilot made his third pass over the greenhouses, he noticed that he was using more left cyclic to maintain level flight. He continued to spray in attempt to correct any load imbalances, however, the helicopter continued to lean further to the right. The pilot maneuvered away from the greenhouses. The helicopter’s right turn continued to increase until it impacted the ground at about a 45-degree bank. A post impact fire ensued and completely consumed the helicopter.

The operator further reported that the helicopter was equipped with 2, 60-gallon mixture tanks mounted on each side of the aircraft. The tanks were connected through a transfer equalizing tube which fed a centrally located electric pump. The pump then sent the wash through the spray booms. The operator mentioned that they believe one of the mixture tanks stopped transferring, which would cause the helicopter to be imbalanced.

Postaccident examination of the helicopter did not reveal any anomalies with the helicopter, however, it was destroyed, and mostly consumed by impact and fire related damage.

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying - Inflight upset (Defining event)

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

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Commercial; Flight instructor

Age:

41,Male

Airplane Rating(s):

None

Seat Occupied:

Front

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Helicopter

Restraint Used:

4-point

Instrument Rating(s):

Helicopter

Second Pilot Present:

No

Instructor Rating(s):

Helicopter

Toxicology Performed:

No

Medical Certification:

Class 2 Without waivers/limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

January 23, 2019

Occupational Pilot:

Yes

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

February 2, 2018

Flight Time:

4910 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2600 hours (Total, this make and model), 3910 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 250 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 80 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

Bell

Registration:

N49643

Model/Series:

206 B

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Year of Manufacture:

1975

Amateur Built:

 

Airworthiness Certificate:

Restricted (Special)

Serial Number:

1813

Landing Gear Type:

High skid

Seats:

1

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

March 21, 2019 100 hour

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

3350 lbs

Time Since Last Inspection:

66 Hrs

Engines:

1 Turbo shaft

Airframe Total Time:

20629 Hrs at time of accident

Engine Manufacturer:

Rolls Royce

ELT:

C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident

Engine Model/Series:

250 C-20B

Registered Owner:

 

Rated Power:

420 Horsepower

Operator:

 

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

Rotorcraft external load (133), Agricultural aircraft

(137)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual (VMC)

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

OXR,44 ft msl

Distance from Accident Site:

2 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

09:51 Local

Direction from Accident Site:

325°

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Clear

Visibility

8 miles

Lowest Ceiling:

Overcast / 1500 ft AGL

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

3 knots /

Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:

None / None

Wind Direction:

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

N/A / N/A

Altimeter Setting:

29.94 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

16°C / 12°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

No Obscuration; No Precipitation

 

Departure Point:

Oxnard, CA (OXR )

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

Company VFR

Destination:

Oxnard, CA (OXR )

Type of Clearance:

None

Departure Time:

09:40 Local

Type of Airspace:

Class D

Airport Information

Airport:

Oxnard Airport OXR

Runway Surface Type:

 

Airport Elevation:

44 ft msl

Runway Surface Condition:

Dry

Runway Used:

 

IFR Approach:

None

Runway Length/Width:

 

VFR Approach/Landing:

None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 Serious

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

 

Aircraft Fire:

On-ground

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

1 Serious

Latitude, Longitude:

34.220275,-119.223892(est)

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Link, Samantha

 

Additional Participating Persons:

Ivan Salazar ; Federal Aviation Administration; Van Nuys, CA

 

Original Publish Date:

April 1, 2022                                                                    Investigation Class:

3

Note:

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

 

Investigation Docket:

https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket?ProjectID=99393

 





Created 132 days ago
by Admin

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