NTSB Identification: LAX04TA264.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 24, 2004 in Chester, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Bell 212HP, registration: N362EH
Injuries: 1 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 helicopter's main rotor blade made contact with the upper wire cutter device during an attempted landing on a sloped landing zone. Upon arriving at the landing zone, the pilot selected an area to land clear from other aircraft and began the descent toward rough terrain with a slope of about 8 to 9 degrees. As the helicopter settled onto the skids, the nose pitched upward and the helicopter slid backward. The pilot quickly increased the collective and moved the cyclic forward in an effort to reestablish the hover. The helicopter began to stabilize in the hover and the pilot felt a shudder and heard a corresponding thump sound. The pilot landed in a different area and noted that it appeared that a portion of the skid had dug into the terrain. A main rotor blade had impacted the upper wire cutter device, leaving the blade damaged beyond repair. The owner reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter.

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

the pilot's excessive use of the cyclic and collective controls in response to the helicopter's unexpected rocking motion, which led to a main rotor contact with the upper wire cutter mounted on the cabin roof. A factor in the accident was the rough, sloping nature of the landing zone chosen for the firebase.

Full narrative available

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