NTSB Identification: ANC09LA031
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 12, 2009 in Haines, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2009
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE AS350 B2 E, registration: N208CH
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.

The solo airline transport helicopter pilot reported that he was on a Title 14, CFR Part 91 positioning flight and was approaching an off-airport landing site on a snow-covered glacier to pick up skiers. He said as he neared the site, he inadvertently flew the helicopter into an unseen rise, resulting in substantial damage to the helicopter and serious injuries to himself. He said he had just flown from bright sunlight into shade, and due to the prevailing flat light, he was unable to discern his height above the glacier. The pilot noted that there were no preaccident mechanical problems with the helicopter.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from snow-covered terrain during the landing approach in flat light conditions.

Full narrative available

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