Rollover destroys Bell 47

 - May 6, 2008, 12:10 PM

BELL 47G4, NEAR GRAND LAKE, LA., JUNE 23, 2002–The pilot of the Bell 47G4 and one passenger received minor injuries while a second passenger escaped unharmed when the aircraft (N62446) hit terrain while maneuvering near Grand Lake at 11:55 a.m. The helicopter, registered to and operated by Deep South Helicopters of Jennings, La., was being operated under Part 91, and no flight plan was filed.

In a telephone interview with the NTSB investigator-in-charge, the commercial-rated pilot reported that he had just finished spray operations before taking the farmer and the farmer’s son-in-law ”to look over a field he had just sprayed for them.” The pilot occupied the left seat, one passenger occupied the center seat and the other the right seat. As the helicopter was equipped with dual controls, the pilot specifically cautioned the right seat passenger ”not to touch anything.”

The pilot reported that as he brought the helicopter to a hover of approximately six to 12 in. the helicopter tilted forward ”due to a forward center of gravity condition.” The pilot added aft cyclic to counter the forward c.g. condition, but the helicopter continued to tilt forward. The pilot said that ”as I tried to add more aft cyclic, I felt the cyclic bind up and couldn’t move it aft any further.” He then lowered collective in an attempt to land, but the helicopter ”tilted to the right.” N62446’s right skid dug into the ground and the helicopter rolled over on its right side, resulting in a fire that destroyed the helicopter.