FTW02LA264
FTW02LA264

On September 25, 2002, at 1412 central daylight time, a Bell 47G-2 agricultural helicopter, N5193B, was destroyed when it impacted a wire and terrain while maneuvering near Edmondson, Arkansas. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Ag Copters, Inc., of Jupiter, Florida. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the helicopter, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. The local flight originated from a staging area near Edmondson, at 1404.

The operator reported that the 5,450-hour pilot had completed spraying a cotton field, located approximately 3/8 of a mile from the staging area. During the return flight to the staging area, one of helicopter's main rotor blades contacted a wire as the pilot attempted to fly under a set of high voltage power lines. The helicopter impacted soft terrain inverted adjacent to the power lines where a post-impact fire consumed most of the helicopter.

Examination of the helicopter by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, revealed one main rotor blades was separated approximately two feet outboard of the main rotor hub. The top assembly of the main transmission with the other main rotor blade was separated from the aircraft and was located adjacent to the main wreckage. Inspection of the high voltage power lines revealed one of the wires was damaged.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory on September 27, 2002. According to the report, "the cause of death...[was] multiple traumatic injuries." Toxicological tests performed by the Federal Aviation Administration's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) were negative for carbon monoxide and alcohol. ACETAMINOPHEN was detected in the Urine at an amount of 10.69 (ug/ml, ug/g).

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