NTSB Identification: DEN08LA138
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Monday, August 11, 2008 in Heber Springs, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/29/2009
Aircraft: BELL 206L-1, registration: N832AH
Injuries: 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 had been conducting external load operations on the day of the accident and had just departed after refueling. While transporting an empty container on the long line at 300 feet above ground level, the engine "spooled down". The pilot released the external load, executed a 180-degree turn and autorotation. During the forced landing, the helicopter landed hard in a tree farm and impacted trees, rolled over and came to rest on its right side. The pilot shut off the fuel and exited the helicopter. Examination of the engine showed the PC line B-nut was found disconnected. The last engine maintenance which involved the removal and reinstallation of the PC line was 67.1 hours prior, during a scheduled turbine change. No slippage marks (torque paint) were noted on the fitting. The engine manufacturer's maintenance manual procedures document the proper installation procedures, which include slippage markings.

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

the improper installation of the PC line on the engine which resulted in a partial loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident was the trees encountered during the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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