NTSB Identification: ANC05CA071.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, March 15, 2005 in Valdez, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS350-B2, registration: N295EW
Injuries: 1 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 solo commercial certificated helicopter pilot was repositioning the helicopter in a parking lot that was being used to load skiers. As the pilot hovered the helicopter, the "door ajar" light illuminated on the enunciator panel, which distracted the pilot's attention momentarily. The helicopter drifted aft, and the main rotor blades struck a sign post. A postaccident inspection of the main rotor blades revealed damage to two of the three main rotor blades. On April 25, it was determined by a repair station that one main rotor blade was unairworthy, and could not be repaired. The operator indicated there were no preimpact mechanical problems with the helicopter.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from an object while hover taxiing, which resulted in the main rotor blades striking a sign.

Full narrative available

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