ATL06CA026
ATL06CA026

The pilot was in cruise flight at 400 feet AGL looking for a bridge that crossed a river. The pilot stated he did not maintain a visual look out and was not familiar with the area. Examination of the accident site revealed the helicopter collided with an overhead ground wire near Black Water Creek in-between Alabama Power Structure 51 and 52. Title 14 CFR Part 91.119, Section (b) and (c) states, over sparsely populated areas, no aircraft may be operated closer than 500 feet to any structure. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed if the operation is conducted without hazards to persons or property on the surface. The pilot stated he maintained control of the helicopter, and flew the helicopter to his house and landed. Examination of the helicopter revealed it received structural damage to the nose, windscreen, lower chin bubble, overhead window, left door post and cabin roof. The pilot called an employee on a cell phone. The employee met him at his house after landing the helicopter and transported the pilot to a local area hospital. The pilot's right middle finger was amputated due to injuries sustained during the wire strike. The passenger was not injured. The pilot stated the helicopter did not have any mechanical problems before the in-flight collision with the power lines.

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