DEN01LA145
DEN01LA145

On August 12, 2001, at 1430 mountain daylight time, a Eurocopter AS350 B-2 helicopter, Canadian registration C-FBTW, was substantially damaged when its long-line became entangled in its tail rotor during landing near Cody, Wyoming. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant in the aircraft, was not injured. Turbowest Helicopters Ltd. of Calgary, Canada, was operating the helicopter under Title 14 CFR Part 133. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local long-line flight which originated approximately 25 minutes before the accident. The pilot had not filed a flight plan.

The pilot said that he was retrieving geophysical seismic bags, and attempted to land beside a bag of equipment. The area was flat, open, brush-covered terrain. During a "high hover," the long line became entangled in a mesquite bush. As the pilot moved forward and down, the line became taut. Approximately 20 feet above the ground, the line became entangled in the tail rotor drive shaft, breaking the control rods and the tail rotor drive shaft. The aircraft rotated to the left, and the pilot retarded the throttle and executed an engine out landing. Upon touchdown, the equipment on the ground punctured the bottom of the helicopter's fuselage breaking a fuel line, and spilling 40 gallons of fuel. There was no fire. The aircraft's tail boom was bent, the horizontal stabilizer was damaged, and the tail rotor drive shaft was broken.

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