NTSB Identification: FTW96LA386.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Friday, September 13, 1996 in MORGAN CITY, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Bell 206L-1/C-30P, registration: N2654
Injuries: 1 Minor,5 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 helicopter was in route to South Marsh 243C in the Gulf Of Mexico from Morgan City, Louisiana. Approximately 5 minutes into the flight, at an altitude of 500 feet AGL, 'a loud continuous, chattering and violent vibration started without warning.' During the emergency landing to a canal, about 50 feet above the trees, the vibration totally ceased; however, the helicopter began turning to the right. At this time the pilot initiated an autorotation and deployed the floats. The helicopter touched down on the water in a level attitude at 20 to 25 MPH, and the helicopter came to rest on its side. One tail rotor blade was sheared from the leading edge to the trailing edge at the outboard end. Scanning of the sheared area by energy dispersive x-ray analysis (EDXA) revealed elements of lead and chromium in one area, and titanium, iron, nickel and chromium in another area. Examination of the area which contained the elements of lead and chromium with an optical microscope at 60X magnification, revealed particles of red paint within this area. The object that struck the tail rotor blade could not be determined.

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

The loss of tail rotor control as result of a tail rotor blade strike by an undetermined object. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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