ATL97LA086
ATL97LA086

On June 13, 1997, at 0851 eastern daylight time, a McDonnell Douglas MDHC-369E, N765KV, had a crewmember fall from a platform during a stable hover near Okahumpka, Florida. The helicopter was operated by Haverfield Corporation under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 133 and visual flight rules. The prevailing weather was visual meteorological conditions. The airplane was not damaged. The commercial pilot was not injured, but the one crewmember received serious injury. The power line repair flight originated from the Central Florida substation at 0815.

As the power line worker was repairing structure #13, he was strapped to the helicopter by a harness. After completing the work, the pilot saw a wild pig running below them. Both agreed, by their two-way radio connection, that they wanted a closer look at the pig. The pilot descended to hover over the pig. At this point, the worker unhooked his harness, but remained outside the helicopter. They remained over the pig for approximately one minute. The pig then went into some high grass, so the crewmember asked the pilot to climb to a higher altitude. The pilot returned them to a 40 foot hover. When the aircraft was stable, the pilot heard a noise, and he turned in time to see the worker fall head first off the platform.

The pilot landed next to the crewmember and called an ambulance. The paramedics airlifted the worker to the hospital, where he received medical attention.

A FAA inspector examined the harness and helmet worn by the worker, and they were both found to be in good condition, with no indication of failure.

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