NTSB Identification: DEN02GA016.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 27, 2001 in Park City, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/16/2003
Aircraft: Hughes 369E, registration: N280SP
Injuries: 3 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 public aircraft accident report.

The helicopter had been contracted by the State to relocate moose to an area where they would be less hazardous to traffic. After the helicopter herded a moose off a frozen reservoir and back towards the shoreline, the pilot turned and flew into five power lines. The helicopter nosed over, and fell 80 feet in a near-inverted attitude to the surface of the frozen reservoir. It broke through the ice, sank, and then floated back to the surface. A portion of the tail boom remained entangled in the wires. Witnesses said the visibility was 1 mile in fog. An examination of the wreckage revealed no anomalies.

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

the pilot's inadequate visual lookout, resulting in an inflight collision with powerlines. Contributing factors were the fog and the powerlines.

Full narrative available

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