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N16HA accident description

Oregon map... Oregon list
Crash location 45.136111°N, 122.823334°W
Nearest city Woodburn, OR
45.143731°N, 122.855373°W
1.6 miles away
Tail number N16HA
Accident date 14 Nov 2011
Aircraft type Bell 206B
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On November 14, 2011, about 1430 Pacific standard time a Bell 206B, N16HA, collided with terrain during an external load operation near Woodburn, Oregon. Applebee Aviation was operating the helicopter under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 133. The commercial pilot was seriously injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the forward fuselage and tail boom during the accident sequence. The local flight departed from a road in Oregon City, Oregon, about 2 hours prior to the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that he was lifting bundles of Christmas trees from a field to a loading zone, utilizing a 25-foot-long steel line. Shortly after lifting a load, the bundle came apart and fell from the line. The pilot then lowered the helicopter so ground personable could reattach the bundle, but they had already moved to the next bundle of trees. The pilot then raised the helicopter, and as he did, the line became snagged on an obstacle on the ground. The pilot immediately reached for the line release switch, but the line did not detach. The helicopter pitched down, descended, and collided with terrain. The pilot could not definitively confirm that the release system failed, stating it was possible that he did not make positive contact with the release switch. He further stated that he did not have enough time to engage the manual backup release system.

An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) examined the helicopter at the accident site. He inspected both the electrically operated release mechanism, and the manual backup release system. No anomalies were found that would have precluded normal operation.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s failure to maintain ground clearance while maneuvering with an external load line.

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