NTSB Identification: ANC01LA020.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Saturday, November 11, 2000 in GIRDWOOD, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/10/2001
Aircraft: Eurocopter AS-350B2, registration: N216EH
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airline transport certificated pilot was maneuvering a helicopter over snow-covered terrain along a mountain ridge while conducting a photo flight. The end of the ridge line was in a shadow. While flying in the area of shadow, the pilot began to lose depth perception, and he added engine power to move away from the ridge. The left landing gear skid tube made contact with snow on the ridge, and the pilot felt a vibration. He landed on lower terrain and shut down the helicopter. A subsequent inspection of the helicopter disclosed internal damage to the tail rotor spars, and a torsional twist in the tail rotor drive shaft.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate altitude/clearance from terrain. A factor in the accident was flat light conditions.

Full narrative available

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