NTSB Identification: CEN12CA484
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, July 27, 2012 in Austin, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: BELL 47G-2A, registration: N652HA
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 was on his third aerial application pass when he momentarily glanced over at his global positioning system and the left spray boom struck the ground. The pilot said the spray boom wiggled back and forth before it folded back into the tailboom. The helicopter then began to spin to the right, and the pilot initiated an autorotation. The helicopter landed hard but remained upright. Examination of the helicopter revealed the spray boom, tail rotor, and tail rotor gear box had completely separated from the airframe. The fuselage and main rotor blades were also damaged. The operator reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter 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 terrain during a low-level aerial application flight and lost control of the helicopter.

Full narrative available

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