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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 164032
Last updated: 26 August 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206B JetRanger
Owner/operator:Upper Limit Aviation
Registration: N3211N
MSN: 3808
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Remote Landing Zone (LZ), near Bountiful, UT -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)
Destination airport:Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The helicopter-rated private pilot was receiving instruction to obtain his commercial helicopter certificate. He and the flight instructor were practicing landings and takeoffs at a snow-covered remote landing zone (LZ) in mountainous terrain. They completed one successful landing and takeoff, and, after a second uneventful landing, the helicopter sat on the snow for a few minutes before the instructor initiated the next takeoff. Just after engine power application, the right forward skid sank into the snow, and the instructor was unable to prevent the ensuing dynamic rollover. The helicopter came to rest on its right side on top of the snow.

The area located just forward and to the right of the helicopter was covered with snow less than 6 inches thick, and grass protruded through the snow, which likely led the pilots to assume that this was a representative depth for the snow on the entire LZ. However, although the snow surface was essentially level, the terrain underlying the snow was not level, and the helicopter had landed on snow that was about 2 ft deep. The instructor was not qualified by the school to conduct operations on deep snow, and the helicopter was not equipped to land on snow deeper than about 6 inches. The pilots did not report any pre-existing mechanical deficiencies or failures, and examination of the helicopter did not reveal evidence of any pre-existing mechanical deficiencies.
Probable Cause: The pilots' inaccurate assessment of the snow depth on the landing zone, which resulted in a landing on snow deeper than that for which the helicopter was equipped and led to dynamic rollover.


FAA register:

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

Revision history:

20-Feb-2014 01:03 Geno Added
06-Mar-2014 02:11 Geno Updated [Source]
30-Nov-2016 21:06 Aerossurance Updated [Aircraft type]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
29-Nov-2017 13:34 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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