NTSB Identification: FTW94LA022.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 29, 1993 in GULF OF MEXICO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/01/1994
Aircraft: BELL 206L-3, registration: N5370V
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.

DUE TO THE HIGH WIND, THE HELICOPTER WAS TIED DOWN ON THE OIL RIG'S HELIDECK WITH FOUR ROPES. DURING PREPARATIONS FOR TAKEOFF, THE LEFT FRONT TIE DOWN ROPE WAS INADVERTENTLY LEFT FASTENED BECAUSE OF THE HIGH WIND CONDITIONS AND TIME CONSTRAINTS. THE PILOT LIFTED THE HELICOPTER OFF THE DECK AND MADE A LEFT TURN INTO THE WIND. HE FELT A SLIGHT TUG, BUT THOUGHT IT WAS DUE TO THE TURBULENCE. AT A HEIGHT OF ABOUT TWO OR THREE FEET, THE NOSE PITCHED ABRUPTLY DOWN AND THE PILOT FELT 'TWO QUICK MAST BUMPS.' HIS CORRECTIVE CONTROL INPUT AND THE HELICOPTER'S ATTITUDE CAUSED THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES TO CONTACT THE TAILBOOM, SEVERING THE 90 DEGREE GEAR BOX. THE HELICOPTER THEN SPUN 180 DEGREES TO THE RIGHT AND IMPACTED THE HELIDECK ON ITS LEFT SIDE. THE PILOT INDICATED THAT HE WAS INFLUENCED BY THE 'PRESSURES OF WEATHER AND MISSION COMPLETION.'

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

THE PILOT IN COMMAND'S INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT INSPECTION IN THAT HE FAILED TO REMOVE A TIE DOWN ROPE. A FACTOR WAS THE PILOT'S SELF-INDUCED PRESSURE.

Full narrative available

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