NTSB Identification: LAX93FA316B
Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Saturday, August 07, 1993 in TUSAYAN, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/1994
Aircraft: BELL 206L3, registration: N38903
Injuries: 3 Serious,9 Minor,2 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 aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT OF N444CR HAD RETURNED TO THE COMPANY HELIPORT AFTER A TOUR FLIGHT, AND WAS CLEARED BY THE COMPANY CONTROL TOWER TO HOVER TAXI PAST A COMPANY HELICOPTER, N38903. N38903 HAD BEEN ADVISED TO HOLD FOR INBOUND N444CR, AND WAS LOADED WITH ROTORS AT MAXIMUM RPM AND FLAT PITCH. THE PILOT OF N444CR STATED THAT WHEN HE WAS ABEAM OF N38903, A GUST OF WIND CAUGHT HIM AND HE MESHED ROTORS WITH THE STANDING N38903. NO UNUSUAL WEATHER PHENOMENA WAS REPORTED BY EITHER THE CLOSEST OFFICIAL WEATHER STATION OR OTHER TOUR PILOTS AT THE HELIPORT. THE HELIPORT WAS OPERATING 5 HELIPADS, EACH WITH LESS THAN THE FAA RECOMMENDED MINIMUM SAFE DIMENSIONS BETWEEN NEIGHBORING PADS. THE TAXI ROUTE THAT N444CR HAD TO TAKE WAS BETWEEN A CHAIN LINK FENCE AND THE PAD WHERE N38903 WAS HOLDING. MEASUREMENTS SHOWED THAT N444CR HAD A 7-FT CLEARANCE BETWEEN ITS MAIN ROTOR AND BOTH THE FENCE AND N38903.

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

FAILURE OF THE PILOT OF N444CR TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE MAIN ROTOR CLEARANCE FROM N38903, AND THE OPERATOR'S FAILURE TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE OR RECOMMENDED SAFE HELIPAD DIMENSIONS. A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT WAS THE LACK OF VISUAL REFERENCE TO THE ROTATING BLADES OF THE PARKED HELICOPTER, N38903.

Full narrative available

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