NTSB Identification: DEN02FA065.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 27, 2002 in Raton, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Bell 206BIII, registration: N2779B
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.

The pilot was flying a power line inspection patrol for possible maintenance needs when the helicopter struck power lines. The mission was flown at 40 to 50 knots, on the right side of the wires, with the main rotor a "few" feet above the highest wire, but not over-lapping the wire. This permitted the observer, sitting in the left seat, to have an optimum view. Two 3/8 inch in diameter galvanized steel static cables (without associated transmission wires) joined the northbound galvanized steel static cables (with associated transmission cables) on a 30 degrees angle. The accident occurred at 0758, when the sun was at approximately 24 degree altitude above the horizon, and its azimuth was 78 degrees east of north (there were no clouds in the sky).

This report was modified on November 21, 2005.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance of the static wire. Factors were the static wire, and the glaring sunlight condition.

Full narrative available

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