Final Report: Sling load entangled in tail rotor
Eurocopter AS 350-B2, Nuiqsut, Alaska, Aug. 21, 2006–The commercial pilot of the AS 350, the sole occupant, was killed when it crashed into a lake in marginal and deteriorating weather conditions. The Safety Board determined the cause of the accident to be the pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from the sling load during cruise flight, which resulted in the load’s becoming entangled in the tail rotor, and an in-flight loss of control. The pilot had been sent to a remote research site to retrieve an external sling load; this was found at the accident site. The helicopter was being operated by Prism Helicopters of Wasilla, Alaska, under contract from the United States Geological Survey. The helicopter was destroyed.