NTSB Identification: SEA01LA061.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Sunday, March 11, 2001 in Mazama, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2001
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS-350 B2 Ecureuil, registration: N189EH
Injuries: 2 Minor,4 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 pilot approached the remote snow covered mountain site into the wind. During the descent at about 50 feet, the wind increased and shifted. The helicopter began to descend rapidly, and the pilot increased power in an attempt to arrest the rate of descent. Shortly thereafter, the low rotor rpm horn sounded and the helicopter touched down just past the normal landing site with sufficient force and forward speed to prevent him from holding it on the landing site. The pilot applied forward cyclic in an attempt to prevent the helicopter from falling off a 30 foot drop. Due to the low rotor rpm and the inability to maintain altitude, the pilot elected to land the helicopter in a large open snowfield. During the landing, the helicopter settled in the snow and the main rotors contacted the ground. The helicopter subsequently rolled over. The weather at the accident site was reported as high overcast. The wind direction was not indicated, however, the wind velocity was reported at 15-20 knots. No mechanical failures or malfunctions were reported.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control. Snow covered terrain, high and variable wind conditions, and failure of attaining the proper touchdown point were factors.

Full narrative available

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