NTSB Identification: LAX94LA236.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 02, 1994 in BECKWOURTH, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/07/1994
Aircraft: SHARP SCORPION TOO, registration: N288JS
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Ground witnesses reported that the helicopter was cruising about 200 feet agl when popping sounds were heard. Parts then came off the helicopter and it descended rapidly to impact. Witnesses on the airport indicated this was the third flight of the day and that the builder/pilot may have been performing test flights. An FAA inspector reported that the tail rotor assembly was found about 90 yards from the main wreckage along with portions of a 'V' drive belt used to power the tail rotor. Color transfers similar to the drive belt material were found on the blades. The mode of belt failure was not determined. FAA records show the pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating and did not hold a rotorcraft category rating. No evidence was found of a solo endorsement for helicopters. The last medical certificate issued to the pilot was dated March 8, 1988. No information was available concerning the last maintenance inspection.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the failure of the tail rotor 'V' drive belt for undetermined reasons and the subsequent failure and separation of the tail rotor.

Full narrative available

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