NTSB Identification: WPR11LA048
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Monday, November 15, 2010 in Salem, OR
Aircraft: BOEING 369D, registration: N155PH
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 15, 2010, about 1330 Pacific standard time, a Boeing 369D helicopter, N155PH, had the tail boom separate in flight near Salem, Oregon. Precision Helicopters, Inc., was operating the helicopter under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 133. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the airframe and rotor blades. The local external load flight departed Newburg, Oregon, at an undetermined time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector interviewed a witness. The helicopter was moving Christmas trees from a tree farm to a loading area. The pilot had dropped his load, and was returning to the tree farm. The witness heard a noise, and looked up. The tail boom had separated, and the helicopter was spinning to the ground.

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