NTSB Identification: FTW97LA131.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 19, 1997 in DONNA, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Hiller UH-12E, registration: N136HA
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 helicopter impacted a set of north-south aligned power lines at the mid point between two poles during an aerial application flight. The helicopter came to rest on its side in an onion field approximately 400 feet east from the point of impact with the wires. Authorities reported that wires were found wrapped around the helicopter's tail rotor assembly. According to the FAA inspector, the helicopter approached the dark green onion field to be sprayed from the east, while flying over a fleshly plowed field which exhibited a light tan/sandy shade of color. The FAA inspector added that the poles and the power lines that the helicopter impacted with lay directly between light and dark colored fields. A completed NTSB Form 6120.1/2 was not received from the pilot/operator of the helicopter.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with the power lines during an aerial application flight. A factor was the power lines.

Full narrative available

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