Factual Report: Gusts disrupt dogsled filming flight

 - July 9, 2008, 8:06 AM

Bell 206L LongRanger, Nikolai, Alaska, March 4, 2008–The pilot of the LongRanger was maneuvering while his passenger was filming a dogsled race when, he said, a gust of wind caused a loss of tail-rotor effectiveness. The helicopter started to turn to the right, and the pilot reduced collective pitch and followed the turn to regain control. He was losing altitude and approaching the ground. A second gust, he said, caused a further loss of tail-rotor effectiveness; the tail rotor struck a tree, and the helicopter hit the ground. The two occupants suffered only minor injuries, while the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The NTSB did not examine it.