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Helicopter crashes/injuries during heli-logging operations in southeast Alaska -- reducing risk and preventing injury.
Safety Technology 2000, Proceedings of a Forum for Advanced Study in the Field of Safety, Orlando, Florida, June 19, 1995, American Society of Safety Engineers 1995 Jun:522-533
Case reports of six helicopter crashes related to the transport of logs by long line cable in southeastern Alaska were investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). In incident one, a helicopter crashed while carrying nine loggers, killing the copilot and five loggers. The NTSB found that the long line attached to the belly of the helicopter became entangled in the tail rotor during a landing approach. Passenger flights with long lines were illegal. In incident two, a helicopter crashed while picking up a load of logs with a long line, seriously injuring the pilot and copilot. The engine failed. In incident three, a helicopter crashed when a long line snagged on a tree stump during landing. No one was injured. In incident four, a helicopter crashed while transporting logs to a log drop area, killing the pilot and copilot. The NTSB found inflight metal fatigue failure of the flight control piston rod caused by carrying log loads that exceeded weight limitations. In incident five, a helicopter crashed after using a long line to lift logs 1,200 feet above the ground, killing the pilot. The NTSB found separation of the tail rotor and tail rotor gear box caused by carrying loads that exceeded safety limits and that the tail rotor gear box had been purchased from the US Army after being surplused for excessive wear. In incident six, a helicopter crashed because maintenance crews failed to install engine nuts properly. No one was killed. These case reports represent an annual crash rate of 16% and an annual fatality rate for long line helicopter log operators of 5,000 deaths per 100,000 operators. In contrast, the US fatality rate for all industries was seven per 100,000 workers. The author concludes that helicopter long line operators would receive specific safety training and companies should observe safety limits on helicopters and crew flight time.
Case-studies; Pilots; Forestry-workers; Logging-workers; Forestry; Lumber-industry; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Occupational-hazards
Safety Technology 2000, Proceedings of a Forum for Advanced Study in the Field of Safety, Orlando, Florida, June 19, 1995, American Society of Safety Engineers
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division