NTSB Identification: WPR09LA371
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 24, 2009 in Chelan, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: SIKORSKY S-55, registration: N1255T
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 using rotor wash to dry cherries at low altitude when the helicopter lost hydraulic pressure. After clearing a stand of trees, the pilot made an emergency run-on landing into a vacant field. During the landing, one of the landing skids hit a large hole, and the main rotor severed the tail boom. Post accident examination revealed that an internal seal had leaked resulting in the loss of pressure in the hydraulic system.

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

Failure of a seal in the hydraulic system resulting in a loss of hydraulic pressure while maneuvering at low altitude.

Full narrative available

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