NTSB Identification: ANC97LA115.
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Accident occurred Friday, August 01, 1997 in WASILLA, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/04/1998
Aircraft: Bell 206-LIII, registration: N94TA
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 pilot was receiving an evaluation flight from a U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Aircraft Services, helicopter specialist. The intent of the flight was to certify the pilot to fly future government contracted flights. The helicopter pilot performed several maneuvers during the evaluation, and then landed on the shore of a small lake to re-hook an external bucket to the bottom of the helicopter. The terrain was level, but was in an area of soft marshy type tundra. The helicopter was equipped with full length flat skis attached to the bottom of the landing gear skid tubes. These tundra skis help prevent the helicopter skid tubes from sinking into soft terrain. After the external bucket's cable was attached to the helicopter, the pilot began to lift the helicopter into a hover. During the liftoff, the left skid tube remained stuck to the ground. The helicopter then rolled onto its left side and received damage to the fuselage and rotor system.

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

The pilot's inadvertent dynamic rollover during liftoff. Factors associated with the accident were soft terrain and a snagged landing gear skid.

Full narrative available

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