NTSB Identification: CHI91DER13.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46589.
Accident occurred Friday, August 09, 1991 in MAPLE GROVE, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/1993
Aircraft: BELL 47G-3B-1, registration: N73998
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

THE PLT SAID HE HAD COMPLETED AERIAL APPLICATION OF MOSQUITO CTL TREATMENT & WAS RTRNG TO THE LOAD SITE. THE HELICOPTER WAS IN CRUISE FLT AT 300 FT ABV THE GND WHEN THE PLT '...NOTICED IT WAS REQUIRING MORE RIGHT CYCLIC CONTROL TO KEEP THE HELICOPTER LEVEL, ALSO BEGAN TO EXPERIENCE A LOSS IN ALTITUDE.' THE PLT NOTED THE ROTOR RPM HAD DROPPED TO 90%, BUT THERE WERE NO WARNING LIGHTS OR HORNS. THE ENG OUT AUDIO WARNING WAS PLACARDED 'INOPERATIVE' & THE PLT WAS AWARE THE OIL CHIP WARNING LIGHT WAS INOP. THE PLT MADE A FORCED LANDING IN AN ALFALFA FIELD. HE STATED '...DUE TO THE RIGHT CYCLIC INPUT I HAD TO LAND WITH A DRIFT TO THE RIGHT...THE RIGHT SKID GEAR SNAPPED, ROLLING OVER TO THE RIGHT.' AN INV REVEALED THE LEFT HOPPER WAS BLOCKED & STILL CONTAINED AN ESTD 100 TO 300 LBS OF MOSQUITO CONTROL AGENT. THIS LOAD RESULTED IN AN IMBALANCE WHICH WAS COUNTERED BY EXTREME CYCLIC INPUT. EXAM OF THE ENG REVEALED 'SEVERE EROSION' OF THE COMPRESSOR BLADES, AND HORSEPOWER PRODUCTION 'SIGNIFICANTLY BELOW PRODUCTION TEST SPECIFICATIONS.'

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN DIRECTIONAL CONTROL OF THE HELICOPTER DURING THE FORCED LANDING. RELATED FACTORS ARE THE LOSS OF ENGINE POWER, LOSS OF ROTOR RPM, THE ERODED COMPRESSOR BLADES, THE PILOT'S OPERATION WITH KNOWN DEFICIENCIES IN EQUIPMENT AND INADEQUATE AIRCRAFT PREFLIGHT, AND THE BLOCKED SPRAY EQUIPMENT.

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