NTSB Identification: SEA02FA085.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 23, 2002 in Merlin, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Robinson R-22 Mariner, registration: N2322Y
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.
Witnesses reported observing the helicopter traveling over the river at an altitude of about 50-100 feet above the water when it collided with an unmarked telephone line support cable. One of the witnesses reported that the engine rpm did not change until the helicopter collided with the cable. After striking the cable, the engine rpm slowed, but did not stop. The helicopter subsequently collided with the ground along the rivers edge and came to rest partially submerged along the bank. The width of the river at the accident site was approximately 75 yards wide. About 300 feet upstream of the main wreckage, two cables running perpendicular to the river were located. One of the two cables was broken and in the water. The other cable was intact, but not taut, and displayed a considerable droop. One end of the 1/8 in diameter cables was attached to a power pole near a restaurant. The other end traveled to the opposite side of the river and over upsloping terrain.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Clearance from a cable running perpendicular to a river was not maintained during low level cruise flight. A cable was a factor. Full narrative available
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