On September 26, 1999, at 0750 central daylight time, a Bell OH-58A agricultural helicopter, N523SP, was substantially damaged when it contacted a tree while maneuvering near Ratcliff, Texas. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Northstar Helicopters Inc., of Jasper, Texas. The instrument rated commercial pilot, sole occupant of the helicopter, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Jasper, Texas, at 0700. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the operator, the purpose of the flight was to apply arsenol to pine trees. The pilot reported during a telephone interview, that he was maneuvering during the fourth spray run of the morning and was turning the helicopter from the south toward the east when he became distracted due to the "sun, and making an input into the GPS receiver." Subsequently, the tailrotor blades of the helicopter contacted trees, and the helicopter impacted the ground. The operator reported that the tailboom separated from the airframe.