On March 28, 2000, at 1630 central standard time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N9GA, was substantially damaged following a loss of control while hovering over a load near Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The non-instrument rated commercial pilot, sole occupant of the helicopter, was not injured. The helicopter was owned by Libenn Air, LLC., and was being operated by Beyond Productions Party. Ltd., of Artarmon, Australia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the external load flight for which a company VFR flight plan was filed. The helicopter was based on the "M.V. Quest," a 200-foot research vessel, which was anchored in a bay 8 miles away from the accident site. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The operator reported that the helicopter was attempting to pick-up a load of expedition and production equipment from a sand bar on the Sierpe River. The pilot reported that the load might have exceeded the engine power available, and "the tension on the cargo hook caused the helicopter to yaw right and roll to the left." Following the loss of control, the helicopter impacted the river on its left side and rolled upside down. The mast was severed and the tailboom separated from the airframe.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica. Any further information may be obtained from:

Republica de Costa Rica Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transportes Direccion General de Aviacion Civil Apartado 5026-1000 San Jose, Costa Rica

This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information released by, or obtained from the DGAC of the Republic of Costa Rica.

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