| ||NTSB Identification: LAX05LA308|
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 21, 2005 in Running Springs, CA
Aircraft: Eurocopter AS350B3, registration: N814CE
Injuries: 1 Serious.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
On September 21, 2005, at 1015 Pacific daylight time, a Eurocopter AS350B3, N814CE, collided with trees while performing external load operations 3 miles east of Running Springs, California. Southern California Edison operated the helicopter under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 133. The commercial pilot was seriously injured and the helicopter was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at the Ontario Airport, Pomona, California.
The operator reported in the Pilot-Operator Accident Report that the helicopter was performing external load operations at a field site between Running Springs and Snow Valley Recreation Area. The pilot had just set a steel cage at a pole site location, and released the load. As the helicopter departed the area, the main rotor blades impacted a tree branch approximately 80-90 feet above ground level (agl). The pilot lost control of the helicopter after the blade strike and it began to rotate, striking several trees with the main rotor blades as it descended between the trees. The helicopter impacted the ground at a 45-degree nose low attitude, coming to rest with the right aft passenger side on a large rock.