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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 43687
Last updated: 6 July 2020
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Date:08-SEP-2007
Time:15:05
Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hughes 369D
Owner/operator:Northwest Helicopters, Inc.
Registration: N31HM
C/n / msn: 1160027D
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Accident
Location:Ellensburg, WA -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Unknown
Departure airport:Puyallup, WA
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
Prior to the accident, the pilot and the second passenger (a biologist) had flown on numerous missions over the course of more than 20 years. The day of the accident, the flight departed early in the morning for the purpose of relocating bighorn sheep. During the flight, the front left-seated pilot was maneuvering the helicopter, allowing both the gunner (aft left seat) and mugger (aft right seat) to capture the sheep. After capturing 16 sheep, the mission continued toward the achievement of the 20 sheep goal for that day. The crew gunned two sheep in one net, and the pilot maneuvered the helicopter onto the hillside (about a 30-percent grade). He continued toe-ing the helicopter into the hillside with the front skids in contact with terrain and the netted sheep off the right side of the helicopter. The gunner egressed the left side and walked into the rotating main rotor disc, killing himself. The pilot opined that the gunner may have been feeling added pressure and fatigue on the capture. A review of the operator's employee manual disclosed that the operations on the accident flight were in compliance with the manual. However, the manual did not address passenger briefing of egress instructions on a regular basis.
Probable Cause: The passenger's inadequate visual lookout and failure to maintain clearance from the rotating main rotor disc while the helicopter was hovering. An uphill terrain condition was a factor

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20070919X01416&key=1


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
04-Dec-2017 18:55 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Nature, Source, Narrative]

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