NTSB Identification: FTW99LA255.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 26, 1999 in RATCLIFF, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: Bell OH-58A, registration: N523SP
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 helicopter contacted a tree during an aerial application flight. According to the pilot he was turning from the south toward the east when he became distracted due to the 'sun, and making an input into the GPS receiver.' Subsequently, the tailrotor blades contacted a tree, the helicopter impacted the ground, and the tailboom separated.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with the tree while maneuvering during an aerial application flight. Factors were the sunglare, and the pilot's diverted attention while adjusting the GPS receiver.

Full narrative available

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