Delta Junction, AK, USA
On August 5, 2013, about 1605 Alaska daylight time, a McDonnell Douglas/Hughes 500D helicopter, N134SH, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a loss of engine power, near the Pogo Gold Mine facility, about 38 miles Northeast of Delta Junction, Alaska. The helicopter was being operated by Soloy Helicopters LLC., Wasilla, Alaska, as a visual flight rules (VFR) external load flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 133. The certificated airline transport pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and company flight following was in effect. The flight departed from the Pogo Mine. During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on August 6, the operators director of operations reported that the helicopter was being used to support exploratory gold mining operations, by transporting personnel and equipment to remote drilling sites. During a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on August 7, the pilot reported that at the time of the accident he was transporting sections of water hose to a remote drill site on a 100-foot external load line that was attached to the helicopter’s belly-mounted cargo hook. He said that as he brought the helicopter to a stable hover over the remote tree-covered site where he intended to place the hose and as he began to position the load closer to an employee on the ground, all engine power was lost. The pilot entered an emergency hovering autorotation, turned the helicopter left, and selected a small open area between tall trees as an emergency landing site. During the descent, the helicopters main rotor blades struck several trees as it touched down on the uneven, tundra-covered terrain, and the helicopter subsequently rolled to the right, sustaining substantial damage to the main rotor drive system, tail boom and fuselage. The helicopter was equipped with a Rolls-Royce 250-C20 series engine. An NTSB postaccident examination of the engine is pending.
Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database
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