NTSB Identification: ANC08LA040.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, March 04, 2008 in Nikolai, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/30/2008
Aircraft: Bell 206L, registration: N404EH
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 pilot was maneuvering the helicopter while his passenger filmed a dogsled race. The pilot reported that he was flying along slowly, and a gust of wind caused a loss of tail rotor effectiveness. He said the helicopter started to turn to the right, and he reduced collective pitch and followed the turn to regain control. During the maneuver he said he was losing altitude and approaching terrain. He said a second gust caused a further loss of tail rotor effectiveness, and as the helicopter rotated the tail rotor struck a tree, and the helicopter impacted the ground. He said there were no preimpact mechanical anomalies with the helicopter prior to the accident. The helicopter was not examined by the NTSB.

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

The pilot's inadequate compensation for wind conditions, and an inadvertent loss of tail rotor effectiveness while maneuvering. A factor contributing to the accident was wind gusts.

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