NTSB Identification: ATL06CA026.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 22, 2005 in Jasper, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/28/2006
Aircraft: Eurocopter France AS-350-B2, registration: N350ET
Injuries: 1 Serious,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 pilot was in cruise flight at 400 feet AGL looking for a bridge that crossed a river. The pilot stated that he did not maintain a visual look out and was not familiar with the area. Examination of the accident site revealed the helicopter collided with an overhead ground wire near Black Water Creek in-between Alabama Power Structure 51 and 52. The pilot stated that he maintained control of the helicopter, and flew the helicopter to his house and landed. Examination of the helicopter revealed it received structural damage to the nose, windscreen, lower chin bubble, overhead window, left door post and cabin roof. The pilot called an employee on a cell phone. The employee met him at his house after landing the helicopter and transported the pilot to a local area hospital. The pilot's right middle finger was amputated due to injuries sustained during the wire strike. The passenger was not injured. The pilot stated the helicopter did not have any mechanical problems before the in-flight collision with the power lines.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain a visual look out, and proper altitude clearance during a low level flight, resulting in an in-flight collision with a power line.

Full narrative available

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