NTSB Identification: DEN08FA122
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 15, 2008 in Salesville, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/06/2009
Aircraft: HUGHES 269B, registration: N469E
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot flew to an off-airport location to pick up an electrical company employee. After being on the ground about eight minutes, the pilot and passenger then flew power line patrol looking for vegetation encroachment. One hour and 36 minutes after taking off one of the helicopter's main rotor blades impacted the middle strand of a crossing high voltage transmission line. The helicopter was destroyed by impact forces and postimpact fire. The impacted transmission line was approximately 100 feet above and crossed perpendicularly to the transmission line they were following. Examination of the helicopter wreckage revealed no preexisting anomalies that would have contributed to the accident.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the crossing transmission line.

Full narrative available

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