NTSB Identification: ANC02LA017.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 23, 2002 in Fairbanks, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/04/2002
Aircraft: Robinson R-22, registration: N8353M
Injuries: 2 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 an animal herding practice, the pilot descended over trees and brush into a clearing. During the descent, he "felt a thump" at the rear of the helicopter. He landed the helicopter, and found that both tail rotor blades were damaged. He said his descent was well clear of the trees and brush. He said he believed a bird strike was responsible for the damage, but in his written statement he says, "... it is still unclear to me what contacted the tail rotor."

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from objects while maneuvering. A factor associated with the accident is an undetermined object.

Full narrative available

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