DFW05CA127
DFW05CA127

On May 18, 2005, about 0930 central daylight time, a single-engine Robinson R22 Beta helicopter, N995JW, was substantially damaged during a collision with a static power line while maneuvering at low altitude near Rock Springs, Texas. The commercial pilot was seriously injured and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 animal control flight. The local flight originated from a private ranch near Rock Springs, Texas.

According to the 500-hour pilot, the helicopter was transported on a trailer to a private ranch near Rock Springs, Texas, to conduct a wildlife trapping flight. While in pursuit of the ninth blackbuck of the day, the pilot attempted to maneuver the helicopter close enough to allow the passenger to shoot a net to capture the animal. During this flight the mishap occurred. The pilot further reported that he had no memory of the collision or anything the rest of that day.

During an interview with a Texas Department of Public Safety Officer and in a subsequent written statement the passenger reported, while in pursuit of a blackbuck they maneuvered out of a draw, around a cedar tree, and then observed power lines directly in front of them. The pilot attempted to maneuver the helicopter over the power lines, but the landing gear skids caught the top wire. The helicopter hung on the wires for a brief time before the right landing skid broke. After which, the helicopter fell and impacted the ground terrain.

A Texas Department of Public Safety Officer reported, that the helicopter struck the top wire of a two-wire set. The top wire was frayed and most of the copper wires were peeled from the steel core wire. The helicopter came to rest on its right side and was facing a northerly direction approximately 30 feet south of the power line impact location. The right landing skid separated into several pieces, the rear section of the tail rotor was severed, and the main rotors were bent and remained attached to the helicopter.




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