NTSB Identification: NYC06LA224.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, September 19, 2006 in East Bridgewate, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2008
Aircraft: Garlick OH-58A, registration: N802JB
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 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 helicopter was transporting empty cranberry bins via cargo hook. The bins were lifted from a flatbed trailer, about 4 feet from a ground crewmember, a 9-year hook-up veteran. After the fifth lift, the ground crewmember attempted to run to, and help a truck driver of another trailer. Although he had a hard hat with a combination ear muffs/radio receiver and microphone, the ground crewmember did not advise the pilot of his intentions, and ran under the track flown during the previous four loads. As the helicopter flew over the ground crewmember, the cargo hook opened, uncommanded by the pilot, and the bins fell about 8 feet onto the ground crewmember. The cargo hook system had been removed from another helicopter in 2002, and that helicopter had previously had it installed at a completion center in 1997. The hook release cable, Bell part number 206-072-903-101 was installed; however, the correct part number was 206-072-903-1, which was approximately 1 inch longer, and would have allowed enough slack to normally preclude any tension on the cargo hook manual release mechanism. After discovering the different part numbers, the operator found that another of his helicopters had the shorter release cable, and he changed it to the longer one as well.

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

The completion center's installation of the incorrect (shorter) release cable, and the ground crewmember's improper movement under the flight path during a bin transfer.

Full narrative available

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