NTSB Identification: NYC98LA058.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 31, 1997 in NEW YORK, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1999
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS-355, registration: N355DS
Injuries: 4 Minor,4 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 helicopter had completed a sightseeing tour and was returning to its departure point. The helicopter approached the heliport from the northwest with a tailwind and was cleared to land on the 'Transient' pad. The helicopter over flew the Transient pad and collided with the Control Room Building at the heliport. The pilot said the helicopter 'settled fast' as he applied collective pitch to arrest his descent. He said the helicopter was too close to the terminal building to attempt a go-around. The pilot added more collective pitch as he came over the landing surface but was unable to stop the helicopter prior to collision with the terminal building. He reported that there were no mechanical deficiencies with the helicopter. The winds reported at the time of the accident were from 290 degrees at 15 knots gusting to 25 knots.

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

the pilot's misjudgment of distance and speed on final approach with a tailwind, and his failure to perform a go-around in a timely manner. A factor in the accident was the strong tailwind.

Full narrative available

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