NTSB Identification: SEA98GA159.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 08, 1998 in JUNTURA, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/11/2000
Aircraft: Bell 212, registration: N291B
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

: NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The pilot-in-command (PIC) had just maneuvered the Bell 212 helicopter into a 100 foot hover above a small reservoir to fill a 'Bambi' bucket for fire-fighting operations. The rotorcraft began to settle. The PIC, perceiving that he had encountered rotor vortex conditions, slipped the helicopter to the right with the bucket still in the reservoir. This, in turn, increased the angle of the long line from the vertical or zero degree reference. Immediately thereafter, the PIC noted a loss of power in the #1 engine. He then executed a single-engine autorotation, during which a rotor blade impacted a dead tree. Post-crash examination revealed that the long line had pulled aft and left from its vertical reference into the airframe structure (the 7:30 position of the hell hole in the belly of the helicopter) resulting in 1) the separation of one of the #1 engine push/pull rods, and 2) the deformation of engine control rods associated with the #1 engine flight idle stop (solenoid) which then sheared. The shearing of the flight idle stop resulted in a restriction/cessation of fuel flow to the #1 engine fuel control unit, and subsequent engine shutdown.

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

The pilot-in-command's failure to maintain proper clearance between the long line cable and hell hole structure resulting in airframe contact and binding of the cable. This resulted in separation/disabling of the fuel control solenoid and a subsequent restriction/cessation of fuel flow to the #1 engine. Contributing factors were separation of the #1 engine push/pull rod and a tree.

Full narrative available

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