NTSB Identification: DEN02LA036.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 04, 2002 in Leadville, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/20/2002
Aircraft: Bell 206B-III, registration: N997GM
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.

The pilot, who was on a power line patrol in mountainous terrain, flew the helicopter 100 feet to the right of the power line and into a 10 to 18 knot headwind. Airspeed was between 70 and 80 knots, altitude was 400 feet above the ground, and power was between 70 to 80 percent torque. As he turned to continue following the power line, a "strong downdraft pushed the helicopter" into the ground despite his efforts to regain control. The helicopter struck snow-covered terrain and rolled over.

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

the pilot's inadvertent flight into adverse weather, which resulted in a collision with terrain. A contributing factor was the downdraft.

Full narrative available

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