NTSB Identification: FTW98LA033.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 28, 1997 in COUNSELOR, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: Aerospatiale SA316B, registration: CFPWH
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 pilot was being trained in the use of GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation for deploying and retrieving seismic equipment. A long line was being used to sling the equipment to drilling sites. The pilot descended into a canyon towards the next drop site. He lowered collective slightly and established a 200 fpm (feet per minute) descent rate. He 'immediately got an uncomfortable feeling about the situation.' He decided to abort the approach and try a longer, more shallow approach into the canyon. He pushed forward slightly on the cyclic and increased collective to initiate a climb. The helicopter shuddered and the rate of descent increased. The pilot realized the helicopter had encountered its on downwash and was 'settling with power.' He lowered collective and pushed forward on the cyclic. The helicopter struck the ground, bounced slightly to the left, and spun around. The wind was light and variable.

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

the pilot inadvertently allowing the helicopter to settle with power.

Full narrative available

Index for Oct1997 | Index of months