NTSB Identification: SEA95GA062.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 24, 1995 in DILLON, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/13/1995
Aircraft: BELL 206, registration: N2277T
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

: NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT LANDED AT A REMOTE SNOW-SURVEY SITE, AND THEN MOVED THE CYCLIC IN A CIRCLE TO TEST WHETHER THE SNOW WOULD SUPPORT THE WEIGHT OF THE HELICOPTER. SENSING THAT THE SNOW WAS FIRM ENOUGH TO SUPPORT THE HELICOPTER'S WEIGHT, THE PILOT ELECTED TO SHUT DOWN THE ENGINE. AFTER HE HAD SHUT OFF THE ENGINE AND THE ROTOR WAS DECELERATING, ONE OF THE SNOWPAD-EQUIPPED SKIDS BROKE THROUGH THE SNOW. AS THE SKID BROKE THROUGH THE SNOW, THE TAIL ROTOR IMPACTED THE SNOW AND THEN CONTACTED THE TAIL BOOM CAUSING SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE.

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

THE PILOT'S SELECTION OF A LANDING SITE THAT WAS NOT SUITABLE TO SUPPORT THE WEIGHT OF THE HELICOPTER. FACTORS INCLUDE TERRAIN COVERED WITH SOFT SNOW.

Full narrative available

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