Bell 206B-3 JetRanger, Shelbyville, Texas, March 10, 2005–The NTSB could not determine the reason for the loss of control and subsequent crash of the JetRanger and blamed the accident on the pilot’s failure to maintain altitude and clearance for undetermined reasons.
The helicopter was on a United States Forest Service (USFS) prescribed fire mission using a cabin-mounted plastic sphere dispenser (PSD) machine, which applied ignition spheres to the controlled burn. The crew on board made a Mayday call as the helicopter was going down. Investigators found no evidence of a mechanical or control system failure or malfunction of the PSD machine. The ATP-rated pilot and the two USFS crewmembers were killed.