NTSB Identification: FTW97LA364.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 25, 1997 in ANAHUAC, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/30/1998
Aircraft: Bell 206B2, registration: N59396
Injuries: 1 Serious.
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 being used to perform sling load operations, transporting water in a 100 gallon bambi bucket suspended by a 100 foot long line. During the operation, the helicopter impacted in a marshy area at a high rate of descent with very low forward speed approximately 100 feet west of his water pick up point. There were no reported eyewitnesses to the accident. A ground impression (corresponding to the water bucket) was found approximately 200 feet to the west of the resting place of the main wreckage. The 3 to 5 foot tall grass on the southern portion of the hole made by the water bucket was found pushed or laid back in a southerly direction. Deep impressions were found aft of the toe of the left skid tube (at the attaching point where it attaches to the crosstube), which corresponded to the steel cable that was being used in conjunction with the external load. No similar impressions were found on the other skid or crosstube assemblies. No evidence of pre-impact mechanical failure or malfunction was found within the helicopter or related components. The commercial pilot had accumulated a total of 4 hours operating with a 100 foot sling.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's inability to maintain control of the helicopter after encountering a dynamic rollover due to entanglement of the external load cable with the left landing gear skid. Full narrative available
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