NTSB Identification: ERA09CA090
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Monday, December 15, 2008 in Osceola County, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/25/2009
Aircraft: BELL OH-58C, registration: N659HA
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The helicopter pilot stated that he was spraying pesticide over a lake, adding that weather conditions were overcast skies and calm winds. He was spraying from east to west and west to east, and trying to keep his altitude between 50 and 200 feet above the water, and speed of about 30 miles per hour. He stated that the spray runs were about a mile. He was finishing up his 14th takeoff and landing for the day. He said the lake was glassy and that it was difficult to judge his altitude; he then flew into the water and flipped over. He reported no mechanical problems with the helicopter.

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

The pilot's misjudgment of altitude during low-altitude spraying operations, which resulted in an in-flight collision with water.

Full narrative available

Index for Dec2008 | Index of months