NTSB Identification: LAX01LA211.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 16, 2001 in Mountain View, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/24/2002
Aircraft: Hughes 369HS, registration: N4467V
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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

During powerline maintenance work, the pilot lost control of the helicopter, resulting in the main rotor blades contacting a transmission line tower, and the helicopter fell to the ground. As he had on numerous occasions, the pilot flew to the tower to pickup a passenger who was performing maintenance on it. The pilot placed one of the helicopter's skids on the tower and the passenger began boarding. However, on this occasion a gust of wind was experienced and the wind direction suddenly shifted. Despite the pilot's effort to maintain control, the helicopter dynamically rolled over resulting in a main rotor blade striking the tower. Thereafter, the pilot lost total control and the helicopter fell about 90 feet to the ground. No mechanical malfunctions were reported.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control while hovering out of ground effect. A factor was the wind gusts.

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