On April 12, 2001, about 2010 central daylight time, a Bell OH-58C, N91335, registered to and operated by Beach Mosquito Control District, crashed shortly after takeoff from the Beach Mosquito Control District Heliport, Panama City, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the public-use flight. The helicopter was substantially damaged and the commercial-rated pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. The flight originated about 5 minutes earlier. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that the first flight departed at 1915, to spray chemical for mosquitoes but returned due to plugged spray nozzles that he noted midpoint of the second spray pass. Without securing the engine, the plugged nozzles were replaced and the flight departed to again spray chemical. After takeoff while flying about 200-250 feet above ground level (agl) at an indicated airspeed of 30-40 knots, with a 10-15 knot wind from the southeast, he began a left turn to line up for his spray swath. The helicopter yawed 20-30 degrees to the right which could not be corrected with full left anti-torque pedal input. He lowered the collective in an attempt to recover but with insufficient altitude, the helicopter collided with trees then the ground. He further stated that there was no engine or flight control malfunction and the right yaw is a characteristic of "loss of tail rotor effectiveness."