NTSB Identification: ANC06LA064.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Monday, May 29, 2006 in Skwentna, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/2007
Aircraft: Robinson R44, registration: N688JK
Injuries: 2 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.
The commercial certificated helicopter pilot was transporting an external sling load and a passenger from a remote off-airport site on a Title 14, CFR Part 135 on-demand air taxi flight. He stated that after lifting a relatively light load on a short sling line, he transitioned to cruise flight. Shortly after entering cruise flight, he said he inadvertently allowed the cargo and sling line to strike the tail rotor blades. The cargo/cable disabled the tail rotor, and the pilot was unable to maintain control of the helicopter. The helicopter subsequently collided with terrain during the ensuing forced landing. The pilot indicated that 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 improper rigging of the external sling load, which allowed the suspended load/cargo cable to entangle and disable the tail rotor control, resulting in a loss of control during cruise and an in-flight collision with terrain. Full narrative available
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