NTSB Identification: FTW98LA002.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 02, 1997 in NEW IBERIA, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/30/1998
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N2163Y
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 flight instructor (CFI) was demonstrating an autorotation with a 180 degree turn to a soft sod area. The CFI reported that the helicopter touched down with only slight forward speed in a slightly nose low attitude. Following touchdown, the skids dug into the soft ground, and the helicopter began pitching forward. The CFI applied 'slight downward collective.' Subsequently, the helicopter nosed over, the main rotor blades contacted the ground, and the helicopter came to rest on its left side. The commercial pilot, who was receiving instruction, reported that the helicopter touched down smoothly in a level attitude 'carrying 5 to 10 knots forward speed.' An FAA inspector recommended that local helicopter operators discontinue using the sod area for running landings and autorotations until the ground is considered hard enough for practice running landings. The CFI stated that at the time of the accident, the wind was variable, but generally aligned with the direction of landing.

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

improper touchdown by the flight instructor. A related factor was: soft sod in the touchdown/landing area.

Full narrative available

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