NTSB Identification: LAX96FA045.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 12, 1995 in SHAFTER, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/11/1996
Aircraft: Bell 47D1, registration: N78900
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The helicopter was certificated in the restricted category for aerial applications. The pilot completed several aerial application flights, including a water rinsing procedure. The pilot's brother, who had been performing flagging duties, boarded the helicopter after the water rinsing flight. During the flight, the spray boom struck the ground and the helicopter collided with the terrain. The helicopter erupted into flames when it came to rest. The postaccident wreckage examination disclosed no evidence of any preimpact airframe or engine malfunctions or failures.

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

the pilot misjudged the altitude and ground clearance while performing an unwarranted low altitude flight maneuver.

Full narrative available

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