ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 233447
Last updated: 18 May 2021
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic UH1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell UH-1H
Owner/operator:United States Forest Service
Registration: N667HP
MSN: 65-09952
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Benchmark, MT -   United States of America
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:External load operation
Departure airport:Benchmark, MT
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
The purpose of the flight was to carry an external load in support of firefighting activity. The pilot departed from a nearby helibase with a visibility of 5 miles under moderate smoky conditions. While en route to another landing zone, the visibility deteriorated and the pilot reported difficulty seeing the landing zone. The pilot successfully landed at the landing zone without incident and set down a load of supplies. The ground crew then attached a load of firefighting equipment that was to be returned to the helibase. As the pilot transitioned to forward flight to depart from the landing zone, the visibility dropped, and he reportedly lost all visual reference. The helicopter settled into trees and impacted the ground, coming to rest on its right side. In the area of the landing zone at the time of the accident, the visibility was reported to be fluctuating between 1/4 to 1 mile due to smoke.

Probable Cause: Dense smoke/haze which restricted the pilot's visibility and the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during the emergency descent resulting in impact with terrain.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 12 years and 7 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

02-Mar-2020 11:04 ASN Update Bot Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description