MIA98TA243
MIA98TA243

On September 8, 1998, about 2030 eastern daylight time, a Bell BHT-47-G3B1, N73957, registered to Clarke Environmental Mosquito Management, operating as a 14 CFR Part 137 public-use flight, crashed during takeoff from a trailer mounted helipad near Buckhead Ridge, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The helicopter received substantial damage, the trailer was slightly damaged, and the commercial-rated pilot was not injured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot's statement, a recent rain shower had wet everything previous to his takeoff. On liftoff, as the helicopter became light on its skids, a gust of wind from behind caused the craft to slide on the wet diamond metal plate platform enough to snag the toe of the right skid under a permanently mounted toolbox. As the pilot maneuvered to disengage the skid, the helicopter shifted rightward relative to the helipad centerline, and when he set the helicopter back down the right skid slipped off the right edge of the helipad. The main rotor collided with the ground resulting in substantial damage to the helicopter and minor damage to the aft edge of the helipad.

The flight was being operated under contract to the municipal agency, Glades County Mosquito Control of Glades County, Florida.

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