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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN18FA258
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, July 06, 2018 in Arlington, IN
Aircraft: Bell 47G, registration: N96195
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 6, 2018, about 1720 eastern daylight time, a Bell 47G-2 helicopter, N96195, was substantially damaged when it impacted a corn field near Arlington, Indiana. A postimpact fire ensued. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The aerial application flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan had been filed for the flight. The local flight departed a loading platform at a farm 1 mile northwest of the accident location., about 1655.

According to a colleague of the pilot, the pilot had been flying since 0845 that morning and had completed between 10 and 15 spray runs. The pilot was applying a fungicide to corn crops and each run was averaging 20 minutes. When the pilot did not return after 30 minutes they initiated search operations and located the wreckage about 1800.

The main wreckage of the helicopter included the fuselage, landing skids, engine and lower transmission assembly, the tail rotor, and the tail boom. The main wreckage came to rest inverted and a postimpact fire damaged the left side of the fuselage and engine. The upper portion of the helicopter, to include both main rotor blades, the mast, the collective and cyclic controls, swash plate, and the upper portion of the transmission were located about 75 ft north of the main wreckage on a bearing of 002°.