NTSB Identification: NYC95LA100.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 04, 1995 in MIDDLEBORO, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/08/1995
Aircraft: BELL 47G-5A, registration: N444GW
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT HAD MADE SEVERAL PREVIOUS AERIAL APPLICATION RUNS OVER A CRANBERRY BOG. AT THE END OF A SOUTHEAST RUN, THE PILOT STARTED A 'NORMAL AG TURN' TO THE RIGHT. AT THE COMPLETION OF THE TURN, AT AN ALTITUDE OF 30 TO 35 FEET, THE HELICOPTER BEGAN AN ABRUPT, UNCONTROLLED DESCENT TOWARD THE GROUND. THE PILOT APPLIED COLLECTIVE PITCH, WAS UNABLE TO ARREST THE RATE OF DESCENT, AND THE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH THE GROUND. NO MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION OF THE HELICOPTER ENGINE OR THE FLIGHT CONTROLS WAS DETECTED. WINDS AT THE ACCIDENT SITE WERE FORM 220 DEGREES AT 12 KNOTS. A WITNESS STATED THAT THE HELICOPTER APPEARED TO HOVER AT 30 TO 35 FEET, STARTED THE RIGHT TURN, THEN DESCENDED RAPIDLY TO THE GROUND.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain airspeed during a low altitude aerial application turn, which resulted in inadvertent settling with power and the subsequent collision with the terrain.

Full narrative available

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