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N945HA accident description

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Crash location 45.074445°N, 94.187222°W
Nearest city Cokato, MN
45.115242°N, 94.190814°W
2.8 miles away
Tail number N945HA
Accident date 15 Aug 2008
Aircraft type Hiller UH-12E
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 15, 2008, at 0700 central daylight time, a Hiller UH-12E helicopter collided with the terrain after contacting unmarked power lines during an aerial application flight in Cokato, Minnesota. The pilot was not injured and the helicopter was substantially damaged. The flight was operating under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated just prior to the accident.

The pilot reported he made three passes over the fields that he was going to spray. He stated he noticed a power line pole that had a transformer cover on it and what appeared to be a wire covering running up the pole. This led the pilot to believe that the power lines in the area were buried. The pilot then landed and loaded the chemicals. He stated that after taking off with the load, he flew one more pass to look for power lines and still did not see any. He stated that during the first swath run, the helicopter contacted power lines. The helicopter initially pitched nose up and to the right. The pilot stated he pushed the nose down and to the left, but the power lines wrapped around the control tubes and tail rotor. The helicopter then entered a descending spin. The pilot stated he pulled back to flatten the descent just prior to the helicopter contacting the ground.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot did not visually identify and maintain clearance with the power lines, and the pilot's inability to maintain control of the helicopter once it contacted the power lines. Factors associated with the accident were the low altitude operations being conducted and the power lines.

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