NTSB Identification: FTW00LA100.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Monday, March 20, 2000 in BRAZOS 542
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2001
Aircraft: Bell 206B3, registration: N5002E
Injuries: 3 Minor.

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 was maneuvering the helicopter to land on an offshore platform. He initially approached the platform from the north, heading into the wind, which was from the south-southeast at 20-25 knots. The pilot began a right turn to circle clockwise around the platform at 300 to 400 feet agl and 70 to 80 mph indicated airspeed. Approximately 3/4 of the way around the platform, the helicopter 'began to spin' to the right. The pilot applied left pedal in an attempt to stop the spin, however, there was 'no tail rotor response.' The pilot 'made an effort to try to come out of [the spin] by lowering the collective and dropping the nose of the aircraft.' Control inputs had no effect on stopping the spin, and the helicopter descended and impacted the water. There were no reported anomalies to the tail rotor system prior to the accident. In February 1995, the FAA issued an Advisory Circular (AC 90-95) concerning unanticipated right yaw in helicopters, or loss of tail rotor effectiveness (LTE). The AC advises pilots LTE may occur in right turns at low airspeeds, and that correct, timely response is critical to prevent a loss of control.

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

The pilot's right turn maneuver during low speed resulting in a loss of tail rotor effectiveness and subsequent loss of control.

Full narrative available

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