NTSB Identification: FTW97LA270.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 17, 1997 in AMELIA, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: Bell 206L-1, registration: N3892R
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.

After completing hover checks, the pilot initiated a takeoff through a cut in the trees. At about 60 feet AGL and 40 knots, a 'loud bang' occurred. The helicopter 'yawed left and the rotor rpm began to decay.' The pilot initiated an autorotation and made a 'hard/steep right turn' towards the only available landing area 75 yards to his right rear. The helicopter landed hard on its right skid and rolled over coming to rest on its right side. The engine was test run, and its performance exceeded new engine specifications. Following the test run, the engine was partially disassembled and inspected. Indications of blood and flesh were found in the impeller and through the compressor air discharge tubes. This finding was consistent with other engines that had been examined and found to have ingested green tree frogs. The pilot also reported that during his preflight inspection, he did not observe any green tree frogs.

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

partial loss of engine power due to frog(s) being ingested into the engine. Factors relating to the accident were: the lack of altitude and lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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