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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 195192
Last updated: 24 April 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206B3 JetRanger III
Owner/operator:Marion County Sheriff
Registration: N911GE
MSN: 5271
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:near Fort McCoy, Marion County, FL -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Fire fighting
Departure airport:Ocala, FL (OCF)
Destination airport:Ocala, FL (OCF)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The commercial helicopter pilot had completed 25 to 30 water drops in a fire zone using a firefighting bucket on suspension cables. After refueling, he completed three or four additional drops and then filled and pulled the bucket from the water and immediately felt “a severely out of CG [center of gravity] condition to the right.” He assumed that the bucket cables were entangled in the right landing skid, so he released the water from the bucket. The condition persisted, so he rocked the helicopter to attempt to free the cable without success. He then released the cable with the cargo release button and heard the “clunk” sound typically heard when the bucket was released, but then he heard another “clunk.” The helicopter then began to spin violently and crashed into the water.
Examination of the wreckage revealed 6-inch long cable marks on the right rear landing skid tube and a torsional fracture of the tail rotor short shaft. Based on the pilot’s statement, the cable marks likely occurred initially when a cable became entangled on the skid tube, followed by the fracture of the tail rotor shaft due to cable or bucket contact with the tail rotor assembly. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain adequate clearance between the helicopter's skid and the firefighting bucket and suspension cable, which resulted in the cable becoming entangled on the landing skid and a subsequent loss of helicopter control.


FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 7 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

03-May-2017 11:00 gerard57 Added
03-May-2017 11:03 gerard57 Updated [Narrative]
03-May-2017 15:20 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Source, Damage]
19-Nov-2018 14:41 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Source, Narrative]
28-Nov-2018 14:44 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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