NTSB Identification: WPR12CA183
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 24, 2012 in Arvin, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/2012
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N969W
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.

Prior to performing the aerial application flight, the pilot surveyed the field and observed a set of power lines along the eastern border. While completing the final pass toward the east, the helicopter struck the power lines. The pilot reported that he did not see the lines silhouetted against the grey sky until just before the collision and that he performed an evasive maneuver in an attempt to descend below the lines. The helicopter struck the ground after the collision, nosed over, and rolled onto its right side, sustaining substantial damage to the fuselage and main rotor system. This was the pilot's second revenue flight, having recently been hired as an apprentice. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot did not maintain clearance from power lines during low altitude maneuvering.

Full narrative available

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