NTSB Identification: LAX95LA216.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 17, 1995 in COALINGA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/29/1996
Aircraft: BELL 47-G5, registration: N7923J
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 REPORTED THAT HE HAD JUST LIFTED OFF FROM A REFUELING TRUCK AND WAS RETURNING TO BASE AT LOW ALTITUDE FROM APPLYING CHEMICALS TO A FIELD WHEN HE NOTED A SPLIT IN THE ENGINE/ROTOR TACHOMETER. THE ENGINE RPM'S BEGAN TO INCREASE WHILE THE MAIN ROTOR SPEED BEGAN TO DECAY. HE WAS ATTEMPTING TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM WITH COLLECTIVE AND THROTTLE MANIPULATION WHEN THE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH THE GROUND. THE HELICOPTER WAS EXAMINED BY AN FAA AIRWORTHINESS INSPECTOR. HE REPORTED THAT NO ABNORMALITIES WERE NOTED WITH EITHER THE ENGINE, THE TRANSMISSION, OR THE FREEWHEELING UNIT. HEAT DISCOLORATION AND BURNED OIL RESIDUE WERE NOTED ON THE CLUTCH.

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

clutch slippage for undetermined reasons. A factor in the accident was the helicopter's low above ground altitude, which limited the pilot's time and ability to recover main rotor rpm.

Full narrative available

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