NTSB Identification: DEN91FA068.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45794.
Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 07, 1991 in HOUSTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/24/1993
Aircraft: BELL 206B-3, registration: N717NH
Injuries: 2 Serious,2 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

WHILE ON A FLIGHT OVER METROPOLITAN HOUSTON TO GET AERIAL VIDEO FOOTAGE, THE MAIN DRIVE SHAFT COUPLING FAILED & THE PILOT WAS FORCED TO MAKE AN AUTOROTATION. HE TRIED TO LAND IN A PARKING LOT, BUT WAS UNABLE TO REACH IT. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE HELICOPTER CRASH LANDED ON THE ROOF OF AN APARTMENT HOUSE. AN INVESTIGATION DISCLOSED THE ENGINE MOUNT WAS OIL SOAKED & HAD DELAMINATED, CAUSING MISALIGNMENT OF THE DRIVE SHAFT. ALSO, A LACK OF LUBRICATION WAS NOTED IN THE MAIN DRIVE SHAFT COUPLING. OTHER MAINTENANCE DISCREPANCIES WERE ALSO NOTED DURING THE INVESTIGATION.

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

ENGINE MOUNT DELAMINATION AND LACK LUBRICATION, CAUSING THE DRIVE SHAFT TO FAIL. POOR SERVICING OF THE HELICOPTER WAS A RELATED FACTOR.

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