ATL05CA003
ATL05CA003

On October 14, 2004, approximately 1000 central daylight time, a Bell 206B, N300HT, registered to and operated by Woodland Specialist Inc. collided with trees during an aerial application flight in Eutaw, Alabama. The aerial application flight was flown by the commercial pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 137 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The helicopter was substantially damaged and the pilot received minor injuries. The flight departed the staging area in Eutaw, Alabama on October 14, 2004 at 0941.

According to the staging crew, the helicopter was conducting a spraying operation in a wooded area in Eutaw, Alabama. The helicopter was refueling for 10-15 minute flights. The fueling trucks actually have no counter so the pilot has to instruct the ground crew to fuel per his fuel gauge in the helicopter. The pilot watches the gauge and then gives a hand signal to stop the fueling. After the helicopter was refueled, it departed the staging area, and did not return after 20 minutes. An aerial and ground search was initiated, and the downed helicopter was located approximately three hours after the initial search.

Fueling records are not documented by the operator. The pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions with the helicopter prior to the accident. Examination of the accident site revealed the helicopter was lying on its left side. The helicopter was recovered and relocated to Griffin, Georgia for further examination. Further examination of the helicopter revealed that the main rotor blades were broken off of the main rotor head, and the fuselage was buckled. During the preparation for a functional check of the engine fuel was poured into the main fuel tank. After pouring about one gallon fuel into the main tank, an undetermined small amount of jet fuel leaked out of the bottom of the fuel tank. An external source of jet fuel was attached to the engine fuel system and the engine was started and, a functional engine run was accomplished up to 65% power for five minutes. Both the oil and engine temperature instruments were in the normal operating range during the engine run. No mechanical anomalies were found during the engine run.

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