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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 163570
Last updated: 29 June 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206L-3 LongRanger III
Owner/operator:Delta Bravo Sierra Inc
Registration: N207DS
MSN: 51546
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:South of Silt, CO -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Rifle, CO (RIL)
Destination airport:Rifle, CO (RIL)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The purpose of the flight was to perform low-level aerial surveillance of power transmission lines using an external gimbal-mounted infrared camera to detect problems with the patrolled power lines. While patrolling above a power line that passed through a valley, the helicopter struck another power line that crossed perpendicular to the helicopterís flightpath and was at a higher elevation than the patrolled power line and ran from poles mounted atop higher terrain. The struck power line was not marked with high-visibility balls nor was it required to be. The sun was directly in front of the helicopter and 30 degrees above the horizon at the time of the accident, which likely made it difficult for the pilot to see the crossing wire. Postaccident examination of the helicopter did not reveal any preimpact anomalies. Given that this was a low-level surveillance flight of power transmission lines, the pilot should have familiarized himself with the power lines he was going to patrol and any other wires or obstructions in the area before the flight. It is likely that he did not adequately plan for the flight and that, if he had, he might have been aware of the power line and been able to avoid it.

Probable Cause: The pilotís inadequate preflight planning for a low-level aerial surveillance flight of power transmission lines, which led to his being unaware of the crossing power line while flying toward the sun and his subsequent failure to maintain sufficient clearance from the wire.


FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

27-Jan-2014 20:29 gerard57 Added
27-Jan-2014 20:30 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
27-Jan-2014 20:34 harro Updated [Operator, Embed code]
27-Jan-2014 22:44 Geno Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
28-Jan-2014 17:17 harro Updated [Registration, Source, Narrative]
06-Feb-2014 02:42 Geno Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
12-Sep-2015 12:22 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
29-Nov-2017 13:21 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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