NTSB Identification: SEA95LA085.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 23, 1995 in RICHFIELD, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/08/1995
Aircraft: BELL 206L-1, registration: N206AH
Injuries: 2 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 REPORTED THAT THE HELICOPTER HAD BEEN STRANDED ON TOP OF A HILL FOR SEVERAL DAYS DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS AND SNOW FALL. BEFORE LEAVING THE HELICOPTER ON THE HILL, THE PILOT STATED THAT HE USED JACKETS AND CUSHIONS TO ATTEMPT TO COVER THE ENGINE INLETS, AS PROTECTIVE COVERINGS WERE NOT AVAILABLE. WHEN THE HELICOPTER WAS RETRIEVED, SNOW HAD ACCUMULATED IN THE INLETS. AFTER THE AIRFRAME AND ENGINE INLETS HAD BEEN CLEANED OF THE SNOW AND ICE BUILD UP, THE ENGINE WAS STARTED AND WARMED BEFORE TAKEOFF. SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF, THE ENGINE LOST POWER AND THE PILOT INITIATED AN AUTOROTATION TO SLIGHTLY SLOPING TERRAIN. THE HELICOPTER LANDED HARD. DURING ENGINE INSPECTION, IT WAS FOUND THAT AT LEAST SIX COMPRESSOR BLADES WERE BENT. NO INSPECTION WINDOWS WERE INSTALLED IN THE COWLING, WHICH WOULD HAVE ALLOWED THE PILOT TO VIEW THE PLENUM CHAMBER FOR ICE OR SNOW. POST ACCIDENT INSPECTION OF THE ENGINE DID NOT REVEAL EVIDENCE OF A MECHANICAL FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION.

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

ICE INGESTION. FACTORS TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: AIRCRAFT PROTECTIVE COVERINGS WERE UNAVAILABLE, INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT INSPECTION, AND UNEVEN TERRAIN.

Full narrative available

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