NTSB Identification: ANC12CA077
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, July 20, 2012 in Circle, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/09/2012
Aircraft: BELL 206L-3, registration: N363AL
Injuries: 4 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 pilot elected to land the high skid, turbine-powered helicopter in a burned-out wooded area as part of a vegetation reclamation survey. The area he selected contained several rain-soaked, burned, and fallen birch trees and required that he land on the fallen trees with the helicopter's skids perpendicular to the trees. The operator reported that, after landing atop the uneven, fallen trees, the pilot retarded the engine throttle to flight idle to begin the mandatory 2 minute engine cool down procedure. The helicopter subsequently tipped backwards and slid to the left, and the tail rotor struck a log. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom, tail rotor drive system, and tail rotor gearbox. The pilot said that there were no preimpact mechanical problems with the helicopter.

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

The pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for landing.

Full narrative available

Index for Jul2012 | Index of months