NTSB Identification: ANC03LA026.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Monday, February 10, 2003 in Paxson, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2003
Aircraft: Hughes 369E, registration: N500DX
Injuries: 3 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 helicopter pilot was conducting an aerial surveying flight over snow-covered terrain. During the survey operation, the pilot maneuvered the helicopter about 200 feet above ground level, while one of the passengers would drop stakes about every 800 feet along a property line. The pilot's attention was diverted inside the helicopter to monitor the global positioning system when the helicopter collided with terrain. The pilot said weather was not a factor in the accident. The helicopter impacted level terrain in a level attitude and rolled onto its side. The fuselage and rotor system received substantial damage.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain altitude/clearance from terrain. A factor contributing to the accident was the pilot's attention being diverted inside the cockpit to look at the global positioning system.

Full narrative available

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