NTSB Identification: ATL99LA036.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 30, 1998 in MURFREESBORO, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/22/2001
Aircraft: Bell 47G-3B-2, registration: N123NM
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 had completed a local photographic flight, and was returning to the airport to refuel. While on short final to land, about five feet above the ground, the pilot's flight chart slipped off his right leg, and he was momentarily distracted while looking down to retrieve the chart. The pilot reported that the helicopter struck the ground in a level attitude on the skids. The passenger described the touchdown as 'abnormally hard'. The pilot said when he went to reposition the helicopter for refueling, he had no tail rotor pedal control. He then proceeded to shut the helicopter down. An examination of the helicopter disclosed that the tail boom assembly had been severed, and there was damage to the trailing edge of one of the main rotor blades. No mechanical problems with the helicopter were reported by the pilot.

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

The pilot's inadequate flare and his diverted attention, which resulted in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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