NTSB Identification: ATL02FA003.
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Accident occurred Monday, October 22, 2001 in N. Wilkesboro, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/2003
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N8104J
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The helicopter collided with power lines in cruise flight approximately 130 feet above the ground, then collided with the ground and burst into flames. Power line cable 3/4-inch in diameter was found wrapped several times around the transmission mast, and the helicopter was not equipped with a Wire Strike Protection System. Examination of the airframe and powerplant revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunction. It was observed that the rising terrain to the west of the accident site cast a shadow over the power lines at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain visual lookout and clearance above obstacles, which resulted in a collision with power lines and subsequent loss of control and collision with terrain.

Full narrative available

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