NTSB Identification: FTW98LA163.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, March 31, 1998 in RIVIERA, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/08/1998
Aircraft: Robinson R22 BETA, registration: N2628B
Injuries: 1 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 was using the helicopter to herd cattle and was attempting to move a bull towards a corral when the animal charged the helicopter. As the pilot maneuvered to avoid the bull, the helicopter's tail rotor contacted the water in a stock tank (pond), resulting in failure of the tail rotor drive shaft. The pilot performed an autorotation. The helicopter spun twice to the right, touched down in a level attitude in the stock tank, and rolled onto its right side.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain terrain clearance while performing an evasive maneuver to avoid a charging bull, resulting in a tail rotor blade strike and the failure of the tail rotor drive shaft. Factors were the charging bull and the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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