NTSB Identification: ATL96LA106.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 09, 1996 in BARTOW, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/23/1996
Aircraft: Bell 47G, registration: N6356
Injuries: 2 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 purpose of the flight was to survey alligator nests along a canal. According to the pilot, they had been flying low (50 to 100 feet), at approximately 35 miles per hour, along the canal when the passenger warned him of utility lines crossing their intended route of flight. As the pilot executed a quick stop maneuver to avoid a collision with the utility lines, the tail rotor assembly collided with the ground. No mechanical problems were reported. The pilot also stated that a better scanning technique, and a slightly higher altitude may have prevented this accident.

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

the pilot's inadequate visual lookout, and his failure to maintain ground clearance, while maneuvering to avoid a collision with a utility line.

Full narrative available

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