NTSB Identification: LAX99LA049.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 04, 1998 in WINTERHAVEN, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Bell 47G-3B-1, registration: N3084G
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 had been spraying the field for about 3 hours. He attempted to take off at or over gross weight and the rotor rpm began to decay. The helicopter was positioned perpendicular to the furrowed rows in the field and when the pilot attempted to land the left skid dug into the mud. The aircraft bounced forward and the main rotor blades flexed downward and severed the tailboom. The pilot reported that he had not experienced any mechanical discrepancies with the aircraft prior to the accident. He further stated that he had not experienced any problems with the engine during the accident.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain rotor rpm. A factor was his attempt to take off over gross weight.

Full narrative available

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