Hard landing Accident Hughes 369D N622PB, 18 Aug 2008
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 285682
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Time:15:30 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hughes 369D
Owner/operator:United States Forest Service (USFS)
Registration: N622PB
MSN: 880318D
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Bonners Ferry, Idaho -   United States of America
Phase: Standing
Departure airport:Bonners Ferry, ID
Destination airport:Bonners Ferry, ID
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot was assigned to pick up three firefighters and their gear from a mountain site and he completed load calculations prior to the flight. The pilot had planned for hover in ground effect performance, although the terrain in the area was sloped and contained vegetation and rocks. As he flew into the area, the pilot assessed the winds and noted that they were coming from the south from 5 to 7 knots. He landed into the wind, picked up the passengers, and stabilized the helicopter in a 3 to 4-foot hover to verify the power. He departed into the wind and began a slow steady climb to clear trees. The helicopter then began to descend toward the trees. The pilot applied additional power but could not stop the descent. He then force-landed the helicopter on downed trees and stumps. During the accident sequence, the tail rotor drive shaft sheared. After exiting the helicopter, the pilot noted that the winds had shifted. The passengers said the winds had been shifting prior to the pilot's arrival. There were no mechanical malfunctions reported with the helicopter. Review of the pilot's duty time showed that he had worked in excess of the contract requirements, and may have been fatigued. Post accident review of the loaded weight of the helicopter revealed that it exceeded the load limits for the operation.

Probable Cause: The pilot's inadequate preflight planning for the takeoff and the helicopter loading that exceeded the lift performance capability of the helicopter.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year 1 month
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

02-Oct-2022 13:19 ASN Update Bot Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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