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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 222071
Last updated: 13 June 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter AS 350B2 Ecureuil
Registration: N350ST
MSN: 2789
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Glacier View, AK -   United States of America
Phase: Standing
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Sutton, AK
Destination airport:Sutton, AK
Investigating agency: NTSB
The helicopter pilot reported that, while transporting snow skiers, he landed on a 20º slope below the mountain peak, where he directed the guide and two skiers to unload with the engine running. The pilot saw loose rocks from the peak above fall into the main rotor disk, and after the skiers were clear of the helicopter, he raised the collective and brought the helicopter to a hover. He added that, while hovering, he did not feel any controllability issues, so he repositioned the helicopter up the mountain about 30 ft and "toed in" to unload additional skiers. After the remaining skiers unloaded, the pilot started flying the helicopter down the mountain so that he could shut down the engine and examine the main rotor blades.
The pilot added that, about 10 seconds later, the helicopter began to shake violently. He initiated a forced landing, but about 150 ft above the trees, the "flight controls became progressively hard to control," and the helicopter pitched up. Immediately, he lowered the nose and collective, and about 30 ft above the snow-covered ground, the main rotor disk struck trees, and the helicopter subsequently impacted terrain. 
The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main rotor blades, fuselage, tailboom, and tail rotor blades. 
The director of operations reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause: The pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for landing on snow-covered mountainous terrain with steep rocks above, which resulted in loose rocks damaging the main rotor blades and the subsequent loss of helicopter controllability. 



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


Revision history:

21-Feb-2019 19:09 Captain Adam Added
29-Sep-2019 22:03 Aerossurance Updated [Aircraft type, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
02-Oct-2019 09:15 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Total occupants, Country, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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