NTSB Identification: FTW86LA047.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 30455.
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 26, 1986 in GULF OF MEXICO
Aircraft: BELL 206BIII, registration: N3181Y
Injuries: 1 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 FAILED TO ASSURE THE CABIN DOOR WAS PROPERLY CLOSED BEFORE FLIGHT, OR THE CABIN DOOR JUST POPPED OPEN DURING FLIGHT, ALLOWING AN UNSECURED LIFE VEST TO BLOW OUT THE DOOR AND INTO THE TAIL ROTOR BLADES. THIS RESULTED IN THE ENTIRE TAIL ROTOR ASSEMBLY DEPARTING THE HELICOPTER. A SUCCESSFUL EMERGENCY AUTOROTATION INTO THE WATER WAS CONDUCTED WITHOUT FURTHER INCIDENT. POST ACCIDENT EXAMINATION REVEALED NORMAL OPERATION OF THE CABIN DOOR.

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

ROTOR DRIVE SYSTEM,TAIL ROTOR GEARBOX(90 DEG)..LOSS,TOTAL


Contributing Factors

AIRCRAFT PREFLIGHT..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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