Loss of control Accident Hughes 500D (369D) N155PH, 15 Nov 2010
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 82679
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Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hughes 500D (369D)
Owner/operator:Precision Helicopters, Inc.
Registration: N155PH
MSN: 370101D
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Polk County, Oregon -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:External load operation
Departure airport:Salem, OR
Destination airport:Salem, OR
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot reported that he was transporting tree bundles on a 25-foot longline. He placed a tree bundle on a truck and then went to pick up another load. He looked outside to set up for final approach to deliver the hook to ground personnel. He then lowered the collective, applied aft cyclic to slow the helicopter, and applied the right pedal to turn the helicopter, which allowed him the best possible view of the ground personnel. Just as he applied the right pedal, the pilot felt and heard a bang; the helicopter immediately started to shudder and then pitched forward violently with a left yaw. The pilot subsequently set up for an autorotation, and, after touchdown in a level attitude with a slight forward speed, the pilot-side landing gear collapsed.
During the postaccident examination of the helicopter at the accident site, a portion of the longline cable and/or wire was located beside a 7- to 9-foot-tall tree that had a section of its top broken off. The tail rotor was found 20 to 30 feet away. It is likely that the hook assembly snagged the tree, which swayed up to a point, pulled the longline taut, and turned the helicopter right. When the treetop broke away, the helicopter suddenly yawed left and pitched forward. The longline recoiled into the main rotor, which resulted in rotor damage, severe imbalance, and a loss of helicopter control. The pilot stated that he did not observe or feel the longline hook get hung up or dragged through the trees.

Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance between the longline and trees, which resulted in the longline snagging a tree and then recoiling into the main rotor blades and a subsequent loss of helicopter control.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 10 months
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

23 Nov 2004 C-GGSI Airspan Helicopters 0 Clowhom Lake, British Columbia unk


Revision history:

15-Nov-2010 23:53 slowkid Added
12-Oct-2014 19:55 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
26-Nov-2017 18:38 ASN Update Bot Updated [Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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