NTSB Identification: FTW97LA058.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Monday, December 09, 1996 in EAST CAMERON 71
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/1997
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS350B, registration: N390MA
Injuries: 2 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 hovered the helicopter about 3 feet above the helipad of an offshore platform, and initiated a pedal turn to keep the tailrotor clear of the stairwell and to align the helicopter into the wind for the landing. During the turn, the tailrotor struck a guard on the operator bucket of a crane, and one tail rotor blade separated from the helicopter. The helicopter rotated (uncontrolled) through 90 degrees of heading change, as the pilot rolled off the throttle and performed an autorotation onto the platform helipad. Winds were from the south at 10 gusting 18 knots.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: failure of the pilot to maintain clearance from an object (crane/bucket). The gusty wind condition and proximity of the crane/bucket were related factors. Full narrative available
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