NTSB Identification: WPR13CA354
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 25, 2013 in The Dalles, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/2013
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N74666
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.

The pilot reported that he was maneuvering at a low altitude over a cherry orchard as part of a drying operation. The light was low due to cloudy weather conditions and he did not see corroded copper wires that were adjacent to the orchard. He noticed a pole that had shiny wires on one side, which gave him the illusion that that was the end of the power line, since he could not see the other connected pole that was obscured by trees. The main rotor blades were substantially damaged when they contacted the wire. The pilot reported no pre impact 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's failure to see and avoid wires while maneuvering at a low-altitude, which resulted in the main rotor blades striking the wires.

Full narrative available

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