NTSB Identification: DEN05LA089.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 12, 2005 in Cascade, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Bell 206L-3, registration: N81EA
Injuries: 4 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.

While attempting to land, the pilot failed to maintain aircraft control, and the helicopter impacted terrain. The pilot made three attempts to land at the intended landing zone (LZ). The first attempt to an LZ yielded too great of a slope on the terrain. The second attempt was much closer to the intended area; however, the terrain was unstable. On the third attempt, just slightly above effective translation lift (ETL), at 11,900 feet msl, the pilot executed a left orbit and located a level landing site. As he approached, he noticed some "trees were laying over" in a "very strong gust" of wind, and ETL was lost. The pilot attempted a pedal turn into the wind. The helicopter resisted an immediately turn, then it "took off to the left." The pilot applied right pedal to arrest the turn. The pilot reduced power, neutralized the pedals, and applied forward cyclic. The rate of turn accelerated and pinned the pilot back into the seat. Subsequently, the right skid and tail boom struck the terrain and the helicopter rolled over. Examination of the helicopter revealed no anomalies.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during the attempted landing on mountainous terrain. A contributing factor was strong wind gusts during the attempted landing.

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