SEA05CA173
SEA05CA173

On August 16, 2005, at approximately 1715 mountain daylight time, a Hughes 369E, N500FU, was substantially damaged when the main rotor blade impacted a tree during a landing attempt near Donnelly, Idaho. The commercial pilot and his three passengers were not injured. Heliflite LLC, Boise, Idaho, was operating the flight under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight which had originated 1 hour 15 minutes before the event. A flight plan had not been filed.

The pilot said that he had landed at the site several times before, but that much construction work had been done since his last visit. He said that as he descended to his landing zone, the main rotor downwash from his helicopter created "brown-out" visibility conditions. He floated past his landing spot and the helicopter's main rotor struck a tree. The pilot said that pieces of the main blades subsequently damaged the vertical and horizontal stabilizer, and the tail rotor was damaged.

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