http://www2.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20040825X01284&key=1 NTSB Identification: SEA04TA163 14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load Accident occurred Tuesday, August 17, 2004 in Mead, WA Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N34698 Injuries: 1 Fatal. 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 August 17, 2004, at 0945 Pacific daylight time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N34698, was destroyed when it impacted terrain following a loss of control while hovering out of ground effect near Mead, Washington. The airline transport pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the United States Department of Energy. The purpose of the public use flight conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 133 was to string power lines for the Bonneville Power Administration. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed from Felts Field Airport in Spokane, Washington at 0650. According to information gathered by FAA inspectors who responded to the accident site, the helicopter was pulling rope that was to be used to install a static wire at the top of 220-foot-tall towers supporting a 500 kilovolt power line. The rope was attached to the helicopter's cargo hook and played out of a truck mounted reel machine. The reel machine operator was interviewed by the FAA inspectors and stated that "he saw the adjacent turn of line cross over the out feed line causing the line to start being retracted." The reel machine operator immediately moved the machine's shift lever from "OUT" to "NEUTRAL," but by the time he had accomplished this, the rope between the reel and the helicopter went taut. Numerous witnesses, who were all members of the work crew installing the wires, reported that when the rope went taut, the helicopter pitched up and rolled right. The helicopter descended, impacted the ground and came to rest on its right side.