NTSB Identification: ANC01LA139.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 09, 2001 in Skagway, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2002
Aircraft: Eurocopter AS 350 BA, registration: N60809
Injuries: 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 certificated commercial pilot was attempting to land at a remote tourist camp located at the 4,000 feet level of remote glacier. The day before the accident, the area had received about 6 inches of very light, powder snow. As the pilot hovered the helicopter toward the landing area, he became disoriented in whiteout conditions, and lost all visual reference due to blowing snow. As the helicopter drifted to the right, the right skid struck the snow, and the helicopter rolled onto its right side. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, tail boom, and drive train components.

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

The pilot's misjudged flare while landing. Factors associated with the accident were whiteout conditions, and snow-covered terrain.

Full narrative available

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