NTSB Identification: SEA98LA128.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 09, 1998 in RAYMOND, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/10/2000
Aircraft: Hughes 369D, registration: N5063G
Injuries: 1 Fatal,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.

Two ground crewman were preparing cedar shake blocks for movement by the helicopter, and were utilizing a three-quarter inch diameter, yellow plastic line provided by the contractor. Each end of this flexible line was attached to itself by means of a woven 'splice' to create a loop at its end. The polypropylene line was then centered around the load with one spliced loop eye end threaded through the opposing spliced loop eye. The free loop end was captured in the hook at the end of the helicopter's sling line. During the helicopter's liftoff, the spliced end of the line at the helicopter's long-line hook released, allowing the cedar shake load to fall free, striking and fatally injuring one of the ground crew personnel. Post-crash examination of the line revealed that one end of the line had unraveled, and that the splice at the opposing end was not spliced in accordance with acceptable industry standards.

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

The use of the improper long-line cable by the ground crew, and its subsequent separation from the helicopter.

Full narrative available

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