ATL02LA119
ATL02LA119

On June 4, 2002, at 1830 central daylight time, a Robinson R-22 helicopter, N8380H, registered to Tri-M Agronomics and operated by the commercial pilot, collided with the ground as the pilot hovered in a rice field near Tunica, Mississippi. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The helicopter sustained substantial damage, and the pilot was not injured. The flight departed Tunica, Mississippi, at 1750.

The pilot reported that, as he hovered over the rice field, the right skid collided with a berm, and the helicopter rolled over. The pilot stated that his attention was diverted at the time of the accident. In addition, the pilot said he "should have set the aircraft on the ground before diverting my attention elsewhere."

Examination of the airplane revealed impact damage to the main rotor system, tail boom and tail rotor, and the main cabin. There was also damage to the engine cradle and mast attachment areas. Distortion was noted on the outer skin panels of the helicopter just behind the cockpit area on both sides and aft of the main rotor area. The tail boom was severed from the helicopter. Examination of the helicopter failed to reveal any abnormalities or malfunctions.

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