NTSB Identification: ANC02TA077.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 15, 2002 in Wasilla, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/29/2003
Aircraft: Bell 212, registration: N5017H
Injuries: 6 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the public use helicopter was landing a fire fighting crew in a confined, off-airport area near a fire line. During the landing, he unknowingly struck a tree with a main rotor blade, which resulted in substantial damage to the blade. He off-loaded the fire crew, and continued to fly the helicopter for approximately 30 minutes. When he returned to the accident site to recover the fire fighters, they told him that they had discovered a rotor blade strike on a tree. The pilot examined the rotor blades, and found that a main rotor blade had a gash in the skin and internal honeycomb structure.

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

The pilot's selection of an unsuitable landing site, and failure to maintain clearance with trees, which resulted in the main rotor blade striking a tree.

Full narrative available

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