Final Report: Contact with power line downed two helicopters

 - June 5, 2009, 5:26 AM

Hughes 269B, Salesville, Ark., July 15, 2008–The board ruled that the probable cause of the helicopter crash was the pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from the crossing power transmission line. The helicopter’s rotor blades struck a high-voltage power line while on line patrol looking for vegetation encroachment. The helicopter was destroyed and the pilot and passenger were killed.

Bell 206L-1, Homer, Alaska, Sept. 25 2008–The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the crash was the pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from power lines during an external load lift, along with the pilot’s lack of situational awareness. While attempting an external long line lift, the pilot said he forgot he was directly under high-tension power lines. As he extended the lift line, the main rotors severed the power lines. The pilot was seriously injured and the 206, operated by Maritime Helicopters, suffered damage to its fuselage and rotor system.