SEA97LA174
SEA97LA174

On July 22, 1997, approximately 0813 mountain daylight time, a Bell 47G-3B1, N3069G, registered to Ralph and Dina Reynold, and being operated/flown by a commercial pilot doing business as Eagle Aviation, was substantially damaged during an inflight collision with terrain while taking off from a site slightly northwest of the approach end of runway 02 at Fanning Field, Idaho Falls, Idaho. The pilot was uninjured. Visual meteorological conditions existed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight, which was to have been an aerial application, was to have been operated under 14CFR137.

The pilot reported to the Investigator in Charge that he requested 15 gallons of fuel prior to takeoff, but was fueled with 40 gallons of fuel by ground personnel. Additionally, he requested 30 gallons of spray chemical, but was loaded with 40 gallons by ground personnel. He also reported a tailwind upon takeoff.

The pilot reported to an Inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration's Salt Lake City Flight Standards District Office that he departed downwind with a full load of fungicide during which the helicopter settled to the ground, the right skid collapsed, and the tailboom separated. The pilot reported to the inspector that there were no mechanical problems with the rotorcraft.

The pilot commented in the "Recommendation" section of NTSB Form 6120.1/2 (How could this accident have been prevented): "The loading crew paying more att(ention) and me as a pilot making sure they did what I asked."

Density altitude at Fanning Field at 0746 on the morning of the accident was approximately 5,466 feet.

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