NTSB Identification: LAX04CA121.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, February 11, 2004 in Salome, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2004
Aircraft: Bell 47-G3B2, registration: N8AG
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The helicopter collided with a tree while attempting to land. The pilot obtained a weather briefing prior to his departure. The briefer reported turbulent winds in the area but indicated that he did not believe there would be gusty wind conditions in the intended landing area. The landing zone was a paved area about 200 feet wide and 300 feet long surrounded by trees, with a hill located to the north. The pilot said that while making the approach, about 25 feet above ground level, a "violent" gust of wind turned the helicopter 90 degrees to the left, and flipped it on its side. The helicopter impacted a tree. The pilot did not report any mechanical problems with the helicopter prior to the accident.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate clearance from trees while approaching the landing zone.

Full narrative available

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