NTSB Identification: SEA90LA081.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41299.
Accident occurred Monday, May 21, 1990 in KELSO, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1991
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D, registration: N8306F
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.

THE PILOT TOOK OFF WITH AN EXTERNAL LONGLINE LOAD (BUNDLE OF CEDAR BLOCKS). THE BUNDLE STRUCK TREE BRANCHES IN THE THICK FOREST CANOPY OVER THE PICKUP SITE & CAME APART. A FALLING BLOCK OF WOOD FROM THE BUNDLE STRUCK & FATALLY INJURED THE GROUND HOOK-UP CREWMAN. THE COMPANY OPERATING MANUAL REQUIRED THAT GROUND PERSONNEL BE CLEAR OF THE AREA DURING THE LIFT-OFF & THAT THE PILOT MAKE A VERTICAL TAKEOFF TO AN ALTITUDE THAT WOULD CLEAR THE LOAD OF OBSTRUCTIONS.

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

FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO KEEP THE EXTERNAL LOAD CLEAR OF OBSTACLES (TREES). FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: FAILURE OF THE PILOT AND GROUND CREWMAN TO FOLLOW SAFETY PROCEDURES, AND THE PROXIMITY OF THE TREES.

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