NTSB Identification: FTW97LA030.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 31, 1996 in CREOLE, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/03/1997
Aircraft: Bell 206B-3, registration: N2043B
Injuries: 1 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 helicopter was equipped with a 100 foot long line and an aluminum basket for transporting seismic equipment. The pilot arrived at a loading zone and began the daily flights. Total flight time for the day was about 2 hours. After the pilot completed the day's activities, the helicopter was to be repositioned to a different loading zone, where mechanics were to perform maintenance checks before the next day's flights. The pilot started the takeoff without checking the belly hook for the external line. He stated that he forgot that the long line and basket (aluminum mesh 4 feet x 5 feet x 3 feet) were still attached to the helicopter. During takeoff, the helicopter was about 50 to 60 feet above the ground, when the basket hung on a fence. The helicopter was then pulled down to the ground, and it came to rest on its right side. Damage occurred to the main rotors and drive train. The pilot was wearing a helmet, and the helicopters' fuel system was equipped with spill safe fittings.

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

the pilot's inadequate preflight by failing to remove the 100 foot long line and the external cargo basket from the helicopter before takeoff, and/or his failure to ensure that clearance/altitude was maintained from the fence.

Full narrative available

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