NTSB Identification: MIA95LA084.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 06, 1995 in MIAMI, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/1995
Aircraft: BELL 206L, registration: N164BH
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

The pilot stated that while maneuvering at 250-300 feet, video taping a boat, he heard three dull thumps and the helicopter began to settle and the engine appeared to lose power. He lowered collective and nosed over. The engine power seemed low and he elected to land on the water. Postcrash examination of the aircraft structure, aircraft systems, flight controls, engine assembly, and all engine controls revealed no evidence to indicate precrash failure or malfunction. Uncontaminated Jet-A fuel was found in the airframe and engine fuel systems. About 2 minutes of audio information from the video camera that was being used by the passenger-photographer on the helicopter was subjected to frequency analysis. This analysis showed the engine N-1 speed was steady at 92% until 6.99 seconds before water impact when it decreased steadily to flight idle. Rotor speed remained steady at 99.8% until the N-1 speed began to decrease to idle. Rotor speed then dropped to 92.3% and the low rotor warning horn activated at 96.3% rotor speed. No thumps as reported by the pilot could be heard.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE ENGINE POWER WHILE MANEUVERING, HIS FAILURE TO TAKE REMEDIAL ACTION TO RECOVER FROM THE RESULTING DESCENT, AND HIS DECISION TO MAKE A PRECAUTIONARY LANDING ON THE WATER.

Full narrative available

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