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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 122268
Last updated: 21 July 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell OH-58C Kiowa
Owner/operator:Couch Helicopter Service Inc
Registration: N9263Y
MSN: 69-16239
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:A field near Route 13 and Werner Road near New Athens, IL -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:New Athens, IL
Destination airport:New Athens, IL
Investigating agency: NTSB
The helicopter was being used for agricultural spraying of a wheat field. It had just taken off from a support truck for another spraying circuit when the support truck workers heard a noise, looked in the direction of the helicopter, and saw the helicopter spinning without its tail boom attached. The terrain in the area of the accident site consisted of rolling hills. At the top of a hill along the route of flight, several spray nozzles from the helicopterís spray boom were found on the ground. The main wreckage of the helicopter was located about 250 feet further along the route of flight. The tail rotor and the aft section of the tail boom were found between the spray nozzles and the main wreckage. Examination of the wreckage revealed evidence that the main rotor blade had struck the tail boom severing it from the helicopter. Further examination found no preimpact defects of the helicopter, its engine, control system, or drive system. Data downloaded from an on-board global positioning system (GPS) showed that the helicopter took off from the support truck and headed in a westerly direction and accelerated to about 52 miles per hour. The GPS track passed over the location where the spray nozzles were found. The recorded altitude from the GPS was below the elevation of the surrounding terrain. Therefore, the altitude information from the GPS was not accurate enough to use for flight analysis. Based on the available information, it is likely that the pilot inadvertently flew the helicopter into the rising terrain, which resulted in the main rotor blades flexing downward and severing the tail boom. Once the tail boom was severed, the pilot would not have had any anti-torque control and would not have been able to prevent the helicopter from spinning uncontrollably.
Probable Cause: The pilotís failure to attain sufficient altitude to clear terrain while maneuvering.




Revision history:

13-May-2011 03:30 gerard57 Added
13-May-2011 04:53 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Other fatalities, Source]
13-May-2011 05:06 DColclasure Updated [Location]
13-May-2011 08:43 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
13-May-2012 18:35 Geno Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 16:55 ASN Update Bot Updated [Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]

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