NTSB Identification: WPR09LA471
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Sunday, September 27, 2009 in Myrtle Creek, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/2010
Aircraft: ARROW FALCON EXPORTERS INC OH-58A+, registration: N298CP
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 helicopter was equipped with aerial application equipment, however, the chemical tanks were empty at the time of the accident. As the helicopter departed the landing zone, the pilot sensed that more power than usual was being required to clear the 10- to 12-foot trees at the edge of the takeoff zone. He checked the engine instruments, which indicated normal readings, and 100 percent torque. Following his instrument check he heard "popping sounds coming from the engine." The pilot said that once over the trees, between 20 and 30 knots airspeed, the helicopter would not accelerate and settled into the trees despite applying full collective. On scene documentation of the rotor blades indicated leading edge damage and upward bending of the blades, indicative of low rotor energy at the time of rotor blade impact with the trees and terrain. Examination of the engine identified leading edge damage to the compressor blades; however, a functional test cell run of the engine revealed it was capable of producing rated horsepower. No airframe anomalies were identified during the airframe examination that could explain the loss of power.

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

A partial loss of engine power during takeoff for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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