NTSB Identification: WPR09LA010
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Friday, October 10, 2008 in Cougar, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/24/2008
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N206CH
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Soon after the helicopter lifted an external load of tree branches and began to fly an uphill route to the central collection point, the long-line became tangled in the trees below the flightpath. As the pilot attempted to continue up the hill toward a landing site, the helicopter's low-rotor rpm horn sounded, and soon thereafter its nose pitched down, and it impacted the ground near the bottom of a steep ravine. Although the long-line was not attached to the helicopter when it crashed, its proximity to the accident site indicated that it was released shortly before the impact. Neither the on-site or the follow-up inspection of the helicopter revealed any evidence of an anomaly in the airframe, engine, or flight control system.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance between his external load and trees while maneuvering. Contributing to the accident were hilly terrain and trees.

Full narrative available

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