NTSB Identification: DEN00TA042.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 11, 2000 in LINDRITH, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2000
Aircraft: Bell OH-58C, registration: N31JA
Injuries: 1 Serious,3 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.
The pilot was conducting an annual game survey with three employees of the Jicarilla Game and Fish Department. He had been airborne for approximately 2 hours, and was planning on returning for fuel. While flying on an easterly heading at 35 knots and 100 ft. agl in calm winds, the pilot initiated a shallow right turn and the aircraft started a yaw to the right. Left pedal was applied to counteract the movement with no effect. The pilot lowered collective to reduce the torque and the aircraft began to spin to the right. He closed the throttle to the flight idle position to reduce torque on the airframe. The aircraft continued to spin and as it was approaching the ground, he pulled the pitch back to cushion the landing. The helicopter impacted the top of a pinion tree and came to rest on its right side. The day following the accident, an FAA maintenance inspector performed an inspection of the tail rotor system and no discrepancies were found. Density altitude at the accident site was calculated to be 7,240 feet above msl.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Loss of tail rotor effectiveness while maneuvering. A factor was the high density altitude. Full narrative available
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