NTSB Identification: FTW97LA150.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 03, 1997 in LAREDO, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Bell BH-47G2, registration: N90485
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 was in the process of purchasing the helicopter from a business located at the airport. After a successful acceptance flight earlier that morning, the pilot landed the helicopter on the ramp, shut down, and finalized the deal. He had driven a trailer to the airport to transport the helicopter back to Louisiana after the purchase. The pilot stated that he descended slowly down to the trailer platform, positioning the left skid as close to the left rail as possible. Upon touch down, the helicopter slid about 1 inch to the right, but the left skid looked square to the left rail. As the pilot lowered the collective, he felt the helicopter drifting to the right skid and applied power and left lateral cyclic to arrest the drift. Subsequently, the craft banked sharply to the left and the rotor blades struck the ground. As the helicopter rolled to the left, the tail boom was severed. According to the pilot, this was the first time that he had landed on a stationary trailer. A FAA inspector reported that the width of the trailer was about 4 inches wider than the helicopter's landing skids.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain alignment while landing on a stationary trailer. A factor was the pilot's lack of experience in trailer landing operations.

Full narrative available

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