BFO94LA159
BFO94LA159

On August 31, 1994, at 1430 eastern daylight time, N204JB, a Bell UH-18, owned and operated by Joseph Brigham of Pembroke, New Hampshire, crashed during takeoff at Carrabasset, Maine. The certificated airline transport pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The helicopter was being operated under 14 CFR 133.

According to an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector, this was an external load operation. The pilot reported that a foundation for the ski lift in Sugarloaf Mountain was being constructed, and the helicopter was being used to lift buckets of cement to pour into the foundation. The pilot stated that as the helicopter was lifting the bucket of cement, "...he heard a loud "bang" noise, followed by a growling noise and the aircraft nose attempting to turn right." He stated that he entered autorotation, flared hitting the tail stinger on the upslope, and landed hard with the aircraft still spinning, and broke off the skid landing gear.

The helicopter was examined by an FAA Safety Inspector. The examination revealed the tail rotor gear box (42 deg) had separated from the tail boom due to overload.

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