NTSB Identification: LAX06CA003.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Monday, October 03, 2005 in Grand Canyon, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS350B, registration: N31MH
Injuries: 7 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 encountered a ground resonance event following a hard landing in gusty wind conditions. The pilot reported that the winds were from the south at 18 knots with gusts to 36 knots. He hover-taxied to the helipad for landing following a sightseeing tour and had established the helicopter in a 3-foot hover in preparation for landing. A gust of wind disrupted the helicopter and brought it to a 6-foot hover. The pilot regained control and stabilized it back in a 3-foot hover. Another gust of wind "slammed" the helicopter onto the helipad and a ground resonance event began. The pilot lifted the helicopter back into the air upon noticing the increasing vibrations. After the vibrations dissipated, the pilot set it back onto the helipad.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter during landing in gusty wind conditions, which resulted in a hard landing and ground resonance.

Full narrative available

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