NTSB Identification: FTW97TA165.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 23, 1997 in TRINIDAD, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1998
Aircraft: Bell 206-L1, registration: N618DE
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

During a VFR cross country flight from Farmington, New Mexico, to Ft. Collins, Colorado, while descending north of Raton Pass, the pilot encountered a low-lying cloud in his intended flight path. He initiated a right turn to avoid the cloud, and during the turn increased power to initiate a climb, to avoid the rising terrain off the right side of the helicopter. During the climbing right turn, the aircraft slowed and directional control was lost. The pilot stated that 'the aircraft began to spin to the right, with the addition of power increasing the rate of turn. I attempted to decrease power to slow my rate of turn to the right, which resulted in an increased rate of descent.' The aircraft impacted the ground while turning right and came to rest on its right side.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter due to a loss of tail rotor effectiveness. A factor was the tailwind condition and the pilot's failure to maintain proper airspeed.

Full narrative available

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