NTSB Identification: FTW89LA031.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40081.
Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Monday, December 05, 1988 in SOUTH MARSH 113
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/16/1990
Aircraft: MBB BO-105, registration: N2785B
Injuries: 1 Minor,3 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.

AS THE HELICOPTER WAS CLIMBING THRU ABOUT 500 FT, THE PLT HEARD A LOUD NOISE, FELT A SEVERE VIBRATION & SAW DEBRIS FALLING IN FRONT OF THE ACFT. HE BEGAN AN AUTOROTATION & DEPLOYED THE EMERGENCY FLOATS BEFORE LANDING ON WATER IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. THE HELICOPTER REMAINED AFLOAT & THE OCCUPANTS DEPLOYED & ENTERED A RAFT FROM WHICH THEY WERE PICKED UP ABOUT 1 HR LATER. AN INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT ONE OF THE TAIL ROTOR BLADES HAD SEPARATED & STRUCK A MAIN ROTOR BLADE. THE RESULTING IMBALANCE CAUSED THE GEARBOX TO SEPARATE & FALL IN THE WATER. THE 90 DEG GEARBOX, TAIL ROTOR HUB AND TAIL ROTOR BLADES WERE NOT RECOVERED FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO.

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

FAILURE AND SEPARATION OF ONE OF THE TAIL ROTOR BLADES FOR UNDETERMINED REASONS. THR RESULTING IMBALANCE AND VIBRATION CAUSED THE SEPARATION OF THE 90 DEGREE GEARBOX AND A PORTION OF THE VERTICAL PYLON WHICH NECESSITATED THE EMERGENCY AUTOROTATION TO THE WATER.

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