NTSB Identification: LAX93LA319.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 11, 1993 in DIXON, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1994
Aircraft: HILLER UH-12E, registration: N100LM
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.

AN FAA INSPECTOR SAID THE HELICOPTER HAD BEEN WORKING THE FIELD FOR ABOUT 2 HOURS DISPENSING INSECTICIDES. THE PILOT DEPARTED THE TRUCK AFTER REFUELING TO FINISH THE REMAINING CORNER OF THE FIELD BEING SPRAYED. THE FIELD IS BORDERED BY A SET OF POWER LINES ON WOODEN POLES WITH A WIRE HEIGHT ABOUT 40 FEET AGL. THE PILOT WAS FLYING UNDER THE POWER LINES DURING HIS SPRAY RUNS. THE LAST TWO POLES HAD A ONE QUARTER INCH GUY WIRE STRUNG BETWEEN THEM ABOUT HALF WAY UP THE POLES. ON THE FINAL PASS IN THE FIELD, THE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH THE GUY WIRE. BASED ON HIS INSPECTION OF THE WRECKAGE AND WITNESS OBSERVATIONS, THE FAA INSPECTOR REPORTED THAT THE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH THE WIRE AT A POINT BETWEEN THE ROTOR HUB AND THE SWASH PLATE ASSEMBLY, BREAKING THE PITCH CHANGE LINKS. THE PILOT WAS ABLE TO REGAIN PARTIAL CONTROL OF THE HELICOPTER AND WAS ATTEMPTING A RUN ON LANDING CROSS FURROW IN A TOMATO FIELD ABOUT TWO MILES FROM THE WIRE STRIKE. THE HELICOPTER SKIDS CAUGHT ON BOTH THE PLANTS AND THE SOFT FURROWS AND TUMBLED TO A STOP.

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

the failure of the pilot to visually detect and avoid the guy wire.

Full narrative available

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