NTSB Identification: CEN09CA359
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, June 11, 2009 in Stringtown, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/10/2009
Aircraft: HILLER UH-12E, registration: N34SD
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 company's president reported that the helicopter pilot was "taking off from an area with large bushes and scrubby trees about 500 feet ahead. He believed he was somewhat distracted because of learning of the serious illness of his mother. ...When it appeared he might have difficulty clearing the obstacles to the left, he turned right to pass under the power lines. The tail rotor snagged the lower power line, causing the helicopter to impact the ground... The wreckage remained intact except for portions of the tail rotor and main rotor which broke off after impact." An unidentified witness reported that the helicopter had struck "lines" while conducting agricultural operations, and that the helicopter was "shattered" and "totaled." The caller stated that the helicopter wreckage had been recovered and relocated to Mineral Wells, Texas.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from power lines. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's preoccupation with personal affairs.

Full narrative available

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