NTSB Identification: ATL97LA114.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 10, 1997 in DANDRIDGE, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/30/1998
Aircraft: Hughes 269A, registration: N7050D
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 stated he was returning to his private heliport after refueling at a local airport. As he approached the heliport, he flew over a local lake to determine the wind direction. He stated he made a normal approach. According to the pilot, as the helicopter approached the ground, a 'right quartering tailwind' was encountered. The helicopter began to 'sink rapidly,' tail rotor authority was lost, and the pilot lost directional control of the helicopter. In order to prevent a spin, the pilot turned off the ignition and allowed the helicopter to drop to the ground.

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

the pilot's failure to properly plan the approach for landing, which led to a loss of tail rotor authority and directional control, while close to the ground. The tailwind was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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