NTSB Identification: NYC95LA147.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 10, 1995 in HAMMONTON, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/03/1996
Aircraft: BELL 47G-3B-1, registration: N48316
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

At the end of an aerial application mission, the helicopter was refueled, and the pilot departed for home base. A few minutes after takeoff, the helicopter collided with trees. Examination of the engine and drive train revealed no preimpact failure; however, the collective pitch control yoke bearing had failed. The ball bearings and race in the yoke bearing were observed to be pitted, and the ball bearings were worn undersized. The last inspection of the yoke bearing occurred about 9 years and 839 flight hours before the accident, during the 1,200 hour inspection. The yoke bearing was not required to be inspected during the recent 600 hour inspection. The bearing was an on-condition item, and did not have a scheduled time change. The bearing could not be inspected, while installed on the helicopter.

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

failure of the collective yoke bearing, which resulted in an uncontrolled descent and collision with trees. A factor relating to the accident was: the manufacturer's inadequate inspection interval of the yoke bearing.

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