WPR13LA287
WPR13LA287

On June 24, 2013, about 0740 Pacific daylight time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N407FK, sustained substantial damage after it became entangled in netting during cherry tree drying operations near Royal City, Washington. The pilot, the sole occupant, was seriously injured. The helicopter was registered to Wilber-Ellis Company, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which originated from Royal City, Washington. No flight plan was filed for the local flight.

The pilot reported that he was drying a cherry tree field, which was covered in a netting material, in a south to north pattern. The northern end of the field was a higher elevation than the southern end. The pilot was flying as close as he could to the cherry trees and he observed that the helicopter's skid was closer to the netting than anticipated. Before he could adjust, the skid hooked the netting; subsequently, the helicopter rolled, and struck the ground inverted.

The pilot reported that he felt fatigued during the accident flight. He also reported that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operations.


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