During Transition To Forward Flight, The Helicopter Contacted The Lower Power Line
Location: Fairfield, CA Accident Number: WPR20LA163
Date & Time: 06/02/2020, 1327 PDT Registration: N65PJ
Aircraft: Bell 206 Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
On June 2, 2020, at 1327 Pacific daylight time, a Bell 206L3 Helicopter, N65PJ, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Fairfield, California. The pilot and 2 passengers were fatally injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 133, rotorcraft external load (Human External Cargo (HEC)) operation.
The helicopter was operated by PJ Helicopters under contract from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to perform power line repair work.
According to PG&E, the linemen had completed work for the day and had been picked up by the pilot. The lineman would have been connected to an external cable and airlifted back to the landing zone (LZ). During transition to forward flight, the helicopter contacted the lower power line, and impacted the ground.
A witness to the accident reported that after the helicopter impacted the power line, it impacted the ground and rolled downhill. The helicopter came to rest in a ravine.
The helicopter was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.