NTSB Identification: LAX02LA039.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 03, 2001 in Aieia, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/2003
Aircraft: Bell 206 B-2, registration: N968YC
Injuries: 3 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.

During a hovering passenger pickup, the helicopter rolled over and collided with the ground. The purpose of the flight was to pickup a work crew and transfer them to another location. When the helicopter arrived at the pickup location, the pilot radioed the crew that he wanted them to board the helicopter from the left side. When the first man boarded the helicopter, it was from the right side, and he did not change his seat position to the opposite side. According to the pilot, as the second man was boarding, the helicopter began to "sway" back and forth. He released his grip on the helicopter, and was backing away from it when the helicopter impacted the ground on its right side. The work crews stated that the helicopter began "swaying" out of control before the second workman reached the helicopter to board. The work crews had been briefed earlier that day that if the pilot was unable to land due to terrain, the crew would have to exit and enter the helicopter while it was hovered. The seating arrangement was for the heavier people to sit in the back, with the lighter person seated in the front. One person was to board at a time, and then move to the opposite side of the helicopter before a second workman boarded. The last person to enter the helicopter would be the front seat passenger.

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

The pilot's loss of lateral control while in a hover that resulted in a rollover and collision with the ground. A factor was the unclear exit and boarding procedures provided to the work crew, who were non-aviators, during the preflight briefing.

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