NTSB Identification: ANC96TA092.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 26, 1996 in KETCHIKAN, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/18/1997
Aircraft: Hughes 369D, registration: N5125Q
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot had landed in a remote area to transport three U.S. Forest Service employees into a national forest. The employees departed the helicopter and began walking away. While at full operating RPM, the helicopter rocked backwards and the tail rotor struck a rock. The helicopter received damage to the tail rotor blades, gearbox, tail boom and drive shaft.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter. The pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for landing was a factor in the accident.

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