SEA03LA012
SEA03LA012

On November 22, 2002, about 0900 Pacific standard time, a Bell 212 helicopter, N82W sustained substantial damage following a main rotor blade strike while landing at a helipad 20 miles east of Longview, Washington. Weyerhaeuser Company owns the helicopter, and it was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) repositioning flight under the provisions of Title 14, CFR Part 137, when the accident occurred. The commercial pilot was not injured, and company flight tracking procedures were in effect.

According to the operator, the pilot was landing the helicopter, equipped with a long-line and external fertilizer bucket, at a heliport located approximately 2 miles from the departure point. The operator reported that the pilot made a normal external load approach (from the northeast) and landed the bucket from a hover. After landing the bucket, ground crew personnel directed the pilot to reposition it forward of its present position due to the buckets proximity to a tree stump. After repositioning the bucket to the requested location, the pilot maneuvered the helicopter laterally and started a descent for landing. During the descent, the helicopter's main rotor blades made contact with treetops and the pilot terminated the landing. Subsequent to the landing attempt, the pilot again repositioned the fertilizer bucket back to the original landing location, about 30 feet to the right, and landed without further incident.

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