NTSB Identification: FTW96LA285.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 01, 1996 in FRANKLIN, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/18/1997
Aircraft: Hiller UH12, registration: N14637
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.

The pilot reported that he heard a 'bang' and the engine started 'running rough' while the helicopter was operating at about 100 feet AGL. The pilot elected to execute a precautionary landing to 'investigate the source of the engine problems.' The pilot stated that during the precautionary landing the 'rotor RPM started to bleed and sufficient RPM could not be maintained for a successful landing.' During the low rotor RPM landing touchdown to a muddy grass area, the front cross tube collapsed and the aft skid settled into the mud. Examination of the airframe revealed that the tailboom, tailrotor gearbox, and a portion of the vertical stabilizer were severed from the helicopter as result of impact with the main rotor blades. The reason for the partial loss of engine power could not be determined.

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

loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, and the pilot's failure to maintain rotor RPM. A factor was the unsuitable terrain available for the precautionary landing.

Full narrative available

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