SEA00LA101
SEA00LA101

On June 8, 2000, approximately 1230 Pacific daylight time, a Bell 206B, N49573, registered to and operated by Cascade Helicopters as a 14 CFR Part 91 flight, rolled over shortly after touchdown in a gravel pit near Bridgeport, Washington. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries. The flight departed from a field near Orondo, Washington, approximately 5 minutes prior to the accident.

The operator of the helicopter reported that the pilot had just landed the helicopter in a gravel pit that was to be used as a refueling staging area for the aerial cherry tree drying operation.

The pilot reported that after the helicopter landed, he opened the door and looked to the rear to ensure that the tail rotor was clear of obstructions and that the landing skids made full ground contact. When the pilot looked back into the cockpit, the nose of the helicopter was coming up and the helicopter was rocking back on the skids. The pilot applied forward cyclic control to lower the nose of the helicopter, when he felt the aft end of the landing skids lift off. The pilot stated that he does not recall his corrective actions after this, only that "very suddenly everything was in motion, then a feeling of impact." The helicopter subsequently rolled over and came to rest on its left side.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter at the time of the accident.

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