Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary ERA22LA209

Oakland, FL, USA

Aircraft #1




The pilot of the helicopter was performing aerial application operations and had sprayed one load early that morning, then returned for his second load. While on the ground, operations were halted because another company helicopter had crashed into the water they were conducting operations over. Following that accident, a safety briefing was held with the pilots, and they were instructed to maintain constant communications with the loader truck. They resumed spray operations and later that afternoon the pilot noted that it was difficult to judge his height above the water and advised another company pilot via radio of that fact. He further described that the water was “like a mirror,” which hampered his depth perception. Later that evening, during a final application pass while he was looking down at the GPS, the helicopter impacted the water. The helicopter’s fuselage, main, and tail rotor blades were substantially damaged during the impact. Following the accident the pilot indicated that there were no mechanical deficiencies of the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The pilot’s decision to continue the low-altitude aerial application flight over water conditions that degraded his depth perception, which resulted in an inadvertent collision with the water.


Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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