Accident Hughes 369D N5134V,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 285198
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Date:Saturday 3 March 2007
Time:16:10 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hughes 369D
Owner/operator:Temsco Helicopters Inc
Registration: N5134V
MSN: 1103D
Year of manufacture:1982
Total airframe hrs:9041 hours
Engine model:Allison 250C20B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Gustavus, Alaska -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:Gustavus Airport, AK (GST/PAGS)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The helicopter was being operated as a visual flight rules on-demand passenger flight under Title 14, CFR Part 135. The purpose of the flight was to tranquilize moose for capture and collaring. The company's chief pilot said a moose was shot with a tranquilizer dart from the helicopter, and that the helicopter was used to block the moose from moving into a hazardous area. The pilot of an airplane orbiting above said the moose charged the helicopter, and that as the helicopter attempted to evade the moose, the moose reared, or jumped, contacting the helicopter's tail rotor. The helicopter pilot reported a loss of directional control, and made a hovering autorotation to the ground. The flex coupling between the drive shaft and the tail rotor gearbox failed, and the spinning drive shaft cut the tail boom and separated the tail from the rest of the airframe. According to the chief pilot, the company's practice had been for the helicopter to hover/maneuver about 10 feet above the ground, and no closer to the darted animal than 10 feet horizontally. He said the pilot and scientist aboard felt the distances were appropriate. He said this was the first incident of extreme, erratic, behavior on the part of a darted animal, and that due to this incident, the company has revised its procedure, and now requires the pilot to maintain 30 feet of altitude above the ground and 30 feet horizontally from a darted animal.

Probable Cause: The inadequate clearance from a tranquilized moose while hovering in ground effect, and the operator's inadequate procedures for such operations, which resulted in an in-flight collision with the moose. Factors associated with the accident were the moose, a sheared tail rotor drive shaft, and the resultant lack of tail rotor anti-torque control.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ANC07LA022
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 months
Download report: Final report



Revision history:

01-Oct-2022 19:09 ASN Update Bot Added

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