NTSB Identification: ATL02LA094.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 26, 2002 in La Belle, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/20/2002
Aircraft: Bell 47G-5A, registration: N14838
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 was executing herbicide swath runs about six feet above the ground at 25 to 30 mph. As the pilot maneuvered to clear a tree on the bank of a ditch the main rotor blades became entangled in the branches approximately 25 to 30 feet above the ground. Upon contact with the tree, the helicopter's rpm decayed rapidly, and the helicopter fell into the ditch. There were no mechanical problems reported by the pilot.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance of a tree while maneuvering, which resulted in an in-flight collision with the tree and subsequent uncontrolled descent and collision with terrain.

Full narrative available

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