On January 18, 2001, about 1032 Alaska standard time, a pop-out float equipped Bell 206L-1 helicopter, N80KA, sustained substantial damage during landing on the Phillips Tyonek Platform, about 6 miles east of Tyonek, Alaska. The helicopter was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) on-demand passenger flight under Title 14, CFR Part 135, when the accident occurred. The helicopter was operated by Kenai Air Alaska, Inc., Kenai, Alaska. The airline transport certificated pilot, and the three passengers aboard, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A VFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Kenai Airport, about 0954.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on January 18, the pilot reported the helicopter was landing on the elevated helipad of the offshore oil producing platform. He said that wind conditions, in conjunction with various platform mounted obstructions, required that he plan his approach to the left side of the helipad, then "side slip" to the right and over the helipad. He said that as he terminated his approach, and moved the helicopter to the right and over the helipad, the tail rotor struck a handrail that was adjacent to the helipad. The helicopter sustained substantial in-flight damage to the tail rotor blades, main rotor blades, and horizontal stabilizer. The pilot reported that wind conditions at the time of the accident were from the northeast at 25 knots.

The pilot indicated that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the helicopter.

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