NTSB Identification: FTW95LA303.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 17, 1995 in WEST CAMERON
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/1995
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N57536
Injuries: 1 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.

WHILE IN LEVEL FLIGHT AT AN ALTITUDE OF 500 TO 700 FEET THE PILOT FELT A HIGH FREQUENCY VIBRATION IN THE TAIL ROTOR ANTI TORQUE PEDALS. SUBSEQUENTLY, A LOW PITCH 'HUM' AND A 'SHUDDERING VIBRATION' WAS FELT, 'FOLLOWED BY A LOUD BANG FROM THE REAR OF THE AIRCRAFT.' THE AIRCRAFT BEGAN TO 'ROTATE TO THE RIGHT', AND THE APPLICATION OF 'FULL LEFT PEDAL' HAD NO EFFECT IN STOPPING THE ROTATION. AFTER 'SEVERAL' 360 DEGREE TURNS, THE PILOT ATTEMPTED UNSUCCESSFULLY TO STREAMLINE THE HELICOPTER. AN AUTOROTATION WAS INITIATED, AND THE AIRCRAFT'S ROTATION WAS REDUCED TO A 'SLOW RIGHT MOTION SPIRAL OR FLAT SPIN.' DURING THE COMPLETION OF THE AUTOROTATION, THE LEFT FLOAT TOUCHED DOWN ON THE WATER FIRST AND THE HELICOPTER ROLLED INVERTED. EXAMINATION OF THE HELICOPTER REVEALED THAT A BOLT HAD SEPARATED FROM THE TAIL ROTOR AFT SHORT SHAFT FORWARD FLEX COUPLING AND THE DRIVE SHAFT WAS FRACTURED.

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

THE DISCONNECT OF THE TAIL ROTOR DRIVE SYSTEM FOR UNDETERMINED REASONS. FACTORS WERE THE PILOT'S INABILITY TO MAINTAIN DIRECTIONAL CONTROL, AND THE LACK OF SUITABLE TERRAIN FOR THE FORCED LANDING.

Full narrative available

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