NTSB Identification: ERA09LA194
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 10, 2009 in Lee, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2010
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D, registration: N369RT
Injuries: 3 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.

While hovering the helicopter during the installation of a transmission wire about 70 feet above the ground, the pilot inadvertently allowed the left horizontal stabilizer to move laterally until it was beneath the wire. When the pilot attempted to climb the helicopter away from the wire, the wire hooked the stabilizer. The helicopter subsequently pitched forward and the main rotor blades and rotor mast also became entangled with the wire. The main rotor blades and tail boom then broke away from the helicopter, which spun once or twice before hitting the ground. There were no mechanical anomalies noted with the helicopter and no appreciable wind.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the overhead wire.

Full narrative available

Index for Mar2009 | Index of months