NTSB Identification: SEA03LA012.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 22, 2002 in Longview, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Bell 212, registration: N82W
Injuries: 1 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.

According to the operator, the pilot was landing the helicopter, equipped with a long-line and external fertilizer bucket, at a heliport located approximately 2 miles from the departure point. The operator reported that the pilot made a normal external load approach (from the northeast) and landed the bucket from a hover. After landing the bucket, ground crew personnel directed the pilot to reposition it forward of its present position due to the buckets proximity to a tree stump. After repositioning the bucket to the requested location, the pilot maneuvered the helicopter laterally and started a descent for landing. During the descent, the helicopter's main rotor blades made contact with treetops.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from trees while landing. A contributing factor was trees.

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