NTSB Identification: NYC99LA138.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 12, 1999 in CINCINNATI, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/22/2000
Aircraft: Enstrom F-28, registration: N9588
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 started giving helicopter rides to airshow spectators in the morning. Then stopped about noon, because airspace around the airport was being closed for airshow performers. After the show, he resumed giving rides, and had completed 4 to 6 rides prior to the accident. During those rides, he did not notice any problems with the helicopter. On the accident flight, the pilot brought the helicopter to a hover into the wind, then initiated the takeoff. The helicopter started to climb, but at 10 feet agl and prior to translational lift, the wind shifted, and the helicopter started to settle. The throttle was full open, and rotor rpm was in the 'normal' range. The pilot felt increasing collective would cause rotor rpm to decay. The left skid then went under a rope barricade, and the helicopter decelerated and yawed to the left. Then suddenly it yawed to the right, which the pilot identified as a tailrotor malfunction. He 'cut the throttle' and executed a hovering autorotation. The helicopter touchdown, the right skid collapsed, and the helicopter rolled onto its right side.

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

The pilot's inadequate evaluation of the weather conditions at the time of departure, which resulted in a downwind takeoff. A factor in the accident was the change in wind direction.

Full narrative available

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