NTSB Identification: CEN12CA319
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, May 25, 2012 in Delavan, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/15/2012
Aircraft: HUGHES 369HS, registration: N11ZX
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 pilot reported that he was spraying a drainage ditch when he encountered a railroad track embankment. He increased altitude to clear the tracks, but, as he descended back into the ditch on the opposite side of the tracks to continue spraying, he observed a set of power lines in his flight path. He attempted to maneuver to avoid the lines, but the left landing skid of the helicopter struck the lines. The helicopter subsequently impacted an adjacent corn field about 250 feet from the power lines. The pilot was seriously injured, and the helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and tailboom. The pilot reported that there were no failures or malfunctions related to the helicopter before the accident.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance with power lines during an aerial application flight.

Full narrative available

Index for May2012 | Index of months