NTSB Identification: ANC94LA103.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, August 09, 1994 in CHUIT RIVER, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/10/1995
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N4604Y
Injuries: 5 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 PILOT LANDED ON A GRAVEL BAR IN A RIVER WHICH HAD HIGH BANKS. THE WIND WAS VARIABLE DURING THE APPROACH AND LANDING. HE 'PICKED' THE HELICOPTER BACK UP TO A HOVER TO REPOSITION ON THE GRAVEL BAR AND THE HELICOPTER BEGAN TO TURN TO THE RIGHT. HE APPLIED LEFT PEDAL, FELT A RESPONSE, BUT WAS UNABLE TO STOP THE TURN. DURING THE TURN THE HELICOPTER DESCENDED AND STRUCK THE WATER. AFTER EVERYONE EXITED THE HELICOPTER, IT ROLLED OVER AND SANK IN THE RIVER. ACCORDING TO THE MANUFACTURER AND THE FAA, WHEN A HELICOPTER IS OPERATING AT OR NEAR ITS MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT, TAIL ROTOR CONTROL MAY BECOME MARGINAL DEPENDING ON WIND CONDITIONS. HOVERING WITH A TAILWIND MAY CAUSE TEMPORARY LOSS OF TAIL ROTOR EFFECTIVENESS AND ALLOW THE HELICOPTER TO ROTATE ABOUT ITS VERTICAL AXIS. THE PURPOSE OF THE FLIGHT WAS FISH GUIDING.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN TAIL ROTOR EFFECTIVENESS DURING HOVER.

Full narrative available

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