GENERAL INFORMATION FOR NTSB REPORT: ANC00LA053
Data Source NTSB AVIATION ACCIDENT/INCIDENT DATABASE
NTSB Report Nbr ANC00LA053
Event Id 20001212X20932
Local Date 05/01/2000
Local Time 1230
State AK
Event Type ACCIDENT
Injury Severity NONE
Record Status
Mid Air Collision NO
Event Location OFF AIRPORT/AIRSTRIP

WEATHER INFORMATION
Weather Briefing Complete UNKNOWN
Basic Weather Conditions VISUAL METEOROLOGICAL COND
Light Condition DAY
Cloud Condition UNKNOWN
Cloud Height above Ground Level (ft) 0
Ceiling Height above Ground Level (ft) 500
Cloud Type OVERCAST
Visibility RVR (ft) 0
Visibility RVV (sm) 0
Visibility (sm) 1
Wind Direction (deg) 120
Wind Condition Flag U
Wind Speed (knots) 5
Wind Condition Indicated Unknown

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION
Aircraft 1
Type of Operation PART 135: AIR TAXI & COMMUTER
Registration Number N301MH
Aircraft Make BELL
Aircraft Model 206
Aircraft Series B
Aircraft Damage SUBSTANTIAL
Aircraft Fire NONE
Aircraft Explosion NONE
Aircraft Type HELICOPTER
Aircraft Homebuilt UNKNOWN
Phase of Flight UNDEFINED
Aircraft Use UNKNOWN
Category of Operation NON-SCHEDULED
Flight Plan Filed VFR
Domestic/International DOMESTIC
Passenger/Cargo PASSENGER ONLY
Operator Name MARITIME HELICOPTERS INC
Operator Doing Business As
Owner Name MARITIME HELICOPTERS INC.
Number of Seats 5
Number of Engines 1
ELT Installed YES
ELT Operated YES
Departure Airport Id PAHO
Departure City HOMER
Departure State ALASKA
Last Departure Point NO
Destination Local CRASH AT DESTINATION CITY
Destination Airport Id
Destination City
Runway Id 0
Air Carrier Operating Certificates YES
Air Carrier Other Operating Certificates UNKNOWN
Rotocraft/Agriculture Operating Certificate UNKNOWN
Cert Max Gross Wgt 3200

ENGINE INFORMATION

Aircraft 1 - Engine : #1
Engine Manufactuer Allison
Engine Model 250-C20R
Engine Horsepower 450
Engine Thrust HP

INJURY INFORMATION
Injury Summary for Aircraft 1
Fatal Serious Minor None
Crew 0 0 0 0
Pass 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 3
Sequence of Events for Aircraft 1
Occurrence #1
IN FLIGHT COLLISION WITH TERRAIN/WATER
Phase of Operation: LANDING - FLARE/TOUCHDOWN

Events Sequence for Occurrence #1 of Aircraft 1
Event Seq # Event Group Code Subject Modifier Personnel Cause/Factor
1 1 TERRAIN CONDITION SNOW COVERED FACTOR
2 2 FLARE MISJUDGED PILOT IN COMMAND CAUSE
3 1 LIGHT CONDITION OTHER FACTOR

Occurrence #2
ROLL OVER
Phase of Operation: HOVER - IN GROUND EFFECT

Events Sequence for Occurrence #2 of Aircraft 1
Event Seq # Event Group Code Subject Modifier Personnel Cause/Factor
4 1 WEATHER CONDITION WHITEOUT FACTOR




AIRCRAFT 1 PRELIMINARY REPORT


On May 1, 2000, about 1230 Alaska daylight time, a high skid equipped Bell 206B helicopter, N301MH, was substantially damaged during a collision with snow-covered terrain, about 21 miles northeast of Homer, Alaska, about latitude 59 degrees, 45 minutes north, and longitude 150 degrees, 51 minutes west. The helicopter was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) on-demand passenger flight under Title 14, CFR Part 135, when the accident occurred. The helicopter was operated by Maritime Helicopters Inc., Homer, Alaska. The airline transport certificated pilot, and the two passengers, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A VFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Homer Airport, Homer, at 1130. During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on May 1, at 1747, the Chief Pilot for the operator reported the helicopter was landing at Bradley Lake, located on the Kenai Peninsula. The helicopter pilot was landing next to a gauging station that was surrounded by snow-covered terrain. Flat light conditions existed at the lake, and light drizzle was falling. The sky conditions were 500 feet overcast, and the visibility was about 1 mile. The pilot was utilizing the gauging station as his landing reference point, but during the landing approach, he flew past the station and had no other visual references. The skids of the helicopter contacted the snow, and the pilot applied upward collective pitch. He attempted to stabilize the helicopter in a hover, but began drifting forward and to the left. The left landing gear skid contacted the snow, and the helicopter rolled onto its left side. The Pilot/Operator report (NTSB form 6120.1/2) submitted by the pilot, included a written statement. In the statement, the pilot said that during the landing approach, he passed the gauging unit that he was using as a reference. After passing the unit, he focused his attention on the snow in front of the helicopter. When the helicopter touched down on the snow, the pilot said he thought the helicopter was still one or two feet above the snow surface. He brought the helicopter to a hover, but the helicopter drifted forward about 30 feet, and about 60 to 75 feet to the left. The left skid contacted the snow, and the helicopter rolled over. In the Recommendation Section of the 6120.1/2 form where comments can be added about how the accident could have been prevented, the pilot noted "additional white-out training." Both passengers in the helicopter reported that during the landing approach, the helicopter developed a high sink rate and touched down hard on the snow, beyond the gauging station. The terrain presented no visual references, and one passenger described the visual conditions as "the inside of a ping pong ball." Both passengers said the weather conditions included bright, filtered sunlight through overcast skies, and a light rain.

AIRCRAFT 1 FINAL REPORT


During an on-demand passenger flight, the airline transport certificated pilot was landing a helicopter at a lake gauging station. The gauging station was surrounded by snow-covered terrain. His two passengers were conducting snow pack studies around the lake. Flat light conditions existed at the lake, and light drizzle was falling. The pilot was utilizing the gauging station as his landing reference point, but during the landing approach, he flew past the station and had no other visual references. The skids of the helicopter contacted the snow, and the pilot applied upward collective pitch. He attempted to stabilize the helicopter in a hover, but began drifting forward and to the left. The left landing gear skid contacted the snow, and the helicopter rolled onto its left side. A passenger described the weather conditions at the landing site as the 'inside of a ping pong ball.' The pilot recommended additional white-out training as a way to prevent the accident.

AIRCRAFT 1 CAUSE REPORT


The pilot's misjudging the landing flare in whiteout/flat light conditions. Factors associated with the accident are the whiteout and flat lighting conditions.


END REPORT