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N905BK accident description

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Crash location 21.976111°N, 159.338889°W
Nearest city Lihue, HI
21.981111°N, 159.371111°W
2.1 miles away
Tail number N905BK
Accident date 21 Feb 2005
Aircraft type Aerospatiale AS350BA
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On February 21, 2005, at 1133 Hawaiian standard time, the vertical fin of an Aerospatiale AS350BA, N905BK, contacted terrain while hovering in an aft direction at Lihue, Hawaii. Ohana Helicopter Tours was operating the helicopter under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 135. The commercial pilot and four passengers were not injured; the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The local photography flight was departing the Lihue Airport at the time of the event. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed. The accident occurred at 29 degrees 58.55 minutes north latitude and 159 degrees 20.33 minutes west longitude.

The pilot submitted a Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2). The on-demand photography flight was scheduled to take photographs for Norwegian Cruise Lines. The pilot reported that while reversing the helicopter on departure, the tail rotor stinger made contact with elevated terrain that surrounded the cement ramp pad from which the helicopter was departing. He stated that the terrain was 3 to 4 inches higher than the pad. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to its vertical fin and tail boom. The pilot noted that the tail rotor itself did not come into contact with terrain. He added that he noted no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter prior to the accident.

NTSB Probable Cause

the pilot's failure to maintain adequate terrain clearance, which resulted in the in-flight collision with terrain.

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