NTSB Identification: ANC99LA036.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 17, 1999 in GIRDWOOD, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/20/2000
Aircraft: Eurocopter AS-350-B2, registration: N197EH
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot reported that the accident helicopter was being utilized to transport skiers to a remote ski area. He added that the day before the accident, the area had received about 6 inches of very light, powder snow. He stated that just before the accident, he transported a group of photographers to the top of the mountain, and he was returning to the base of the mountain to pick up the next group of skiers. He said that as the helicopter hovered toward the landing area, he became disoriented in whiteout conditions, and lost all visual reference due to blowing snow. He said the helicopter drifted to the right, the right skid struck the snow, and the helicopter rolled onto its right side. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, tail boom, and drive train components.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's misjudged flare while landing. Factors associated with the accident were whiteout conditions, and snow-covered terrain.

Full narrative available

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