NTSB Identification: SEA00LA092.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 25, 2000 in BUHL, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Sikorsky S-58, registration: N2253A
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that while en route to a field for the aerial application, he was distracted by a radio call from another pilot. The pilot looked down at a map to verify a field location, and when he looked back up, he did not see the power lines that he knew were along his flight path and had flown over on previous flights. After colliding with those power lines, the helicopter pitched nearly straight up, leveled slightly, then fell to the ground in a tail low attitude. A post-crash fire consumed the helicopter. The pilot reported that there were water drops on the windshield, which was dirty, and the sky was overcast, reducing his visibility substantially.

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

The pilot's inadequate visual lookout, and his failure to maintain adequate clearance from the power lines. The pilot's diverted attention, a dirty windshield, power lines, and light rain were factors.

Full narrative available

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