NTSB Identification: SEA96LA165.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 24, 1996 in WARREN, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/1997
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N750LT
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Minor.

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 helicopter airline transport pilot landed in a remote mountainous site to board two timber cutters and provide transportation. The timber cutters had constructed a helipad at the site by felling a tree, slicing it into two sections, and placing the sections about 7 feet apart from each other on sloping terrain. The forward section was secured with two pieces of round wood loosely placed on the ground, but the section could pivot on its curved side. After surveying the landing site, the pilot set the helicopter down on the two tree sections with the tip of the right skid resting on the aft edge of the forward log. The timber cutters loaded their equipment in the rear of the helicopter and boarded while it was standing with the rotors turning. The pilot stated that the forward log then began to roll aft, and the right skid shifted downward. The pilot attempted to lift the log off the right skid. The helicopter continued to nose over as the pilot added power and collective. A main rotor blade struck rising terrain in front of the helicopter, and the helicopter rolled over onto its right side. The pilot was the owner/operator of the company and had applied for authorization to conduct flight operations under 14 CFR 135. However, he was not yet FAA-certificated to conduct such flights. The cutters had received no formal training on helipad construction.

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

the pilot's improper remedial action after helicopter's right skid became snagged by a log that was used in the construction of a temporary landing site. Factors relating to the accident were: the pilot's selection of an unsuitable landing area, inadequate construction of the landing site by ground personnel, and the ground personnel's lack of training regarding the construction of a temporary landing zone.

Full narrative available

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