NTSB Identification: ANC11CA056
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Monday, June 27, 2011 in Ambler, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/04/2011
Aircraft: HUGHES 500D, registration: C-GLHQ
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The helicopter pilot landed a high skid, turbine-powered helicopter at a remote drilling site, and the three passengers disembarked. The remote landing site was constructed of 6-inch by 6-inch wooden beams, which required that the pilot land perpendicular to and on the beams with the helicopter's skids. The pilot reported that after landing he retarded the engine throttle to flight idle to begin the mandatory 2 minute engine cool down procedure. He then got out of the helicopter to check the placement of the helicopter's skids on the beams, and it subsequently tipped backwards, with the tail rotor striking terrain. A postaccident inspection revealed that while landing, the pilot inadvertently placed the helicopter's skids behind the aft wooden beam, and the helicopter tipped backwards once the pilot exited the helicopter. The pilot said there were no preimpact mechanical problems with the helicopter. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom, tail rotor drive system, and tail rotor gearbox.

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

The pilot's misalignment of the helicopter on the landing structure.

Full narrative available

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