NTSB Identification: LAX97LA030.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 01, 1996 in SUPAI, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/21/1997
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N90144
Injuries: 1 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 was was being used in an external lift operation, moving supplies of salt to a storage location. The pilot reported that he was lifting to a hover over a loaded cargo net, unaware that the external load cable was draped over one of the skids. As the cable took the strain of the load, the helicopter rolled, and the lateral control limit was exceeded. The pilot released the load with an electrical switch; however, before control was regained, the helicopter contacted the ground, nose low, and the main rotor blades struck the ground. The pilot reported that from initial down-force on the skid until impact, the time frame was less than 4 seconds. He also reported no mechanical malfunction with the helicopter.

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

improper routing of the external cargo hoist cable (over helicopter skid), which resulted in lateral imbalance and roll-over of the helicopter, as weight on the cable became effective.

Full narrative available

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