NTSB Identification: SEA01TA172.
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Accident occurred Monday, September 17, 2001 in Troy, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/03/2002
Aircraft: Bell 205, registration: N458CC
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The pilot was returning from an external load long-line firefighting flight when he noticed a vertical vibration above 90 knots. After landing at Troy he noticed damage to the main rotor blades. Subsequently, he noticed that pine needles had been ingested by the helicopter's induction system. The pilot reported that he had no memory of hitting any objects during the operation. The weather was clear with 20 miles visibility, and the sky was partially obscured by smoke. There was no report of mechanical failure or malfunction with the helicopter.

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

The pilot-in-command's failure to maintain seperation/clearance from trees while maneuvering.

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