NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The airline transport helicopter pilot reported that he was on a Title 14, CFR Part 135 passenger flight and was approaching a mountain ridge to drop off two technicians at a radio repeater site. Before beginning his approach, the pilot circled the site to determine the wind conditions, and then began his approach into a 10 knot wind. During the approach to the 5,657 foot level site, the pilot said he encountered a downdraft as the helicopter approached the site, and the helicopter descended below his anticipated approach path. He initiated a go-around, but the helicopter continued to descend, and landed hard, about 150 feet short and down slope of his intended touchdown point. During touchdown, the toes of the helicopter’s skids broke, and the helicopter rocked forward and aft, sustaining substantial damage to the right side of the tail boom. The pilot reported wind conditions on the ground as variable, gusting between 10 and 20 knots. In the pilot’s written statement to the NTSB, he reported that there were no preaccident mechanical problems with the helicopter.