NTSB Identification: MIA01FA075.
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Accident occurred Sunday, February 11, 2001 in Archer, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/2003
Aircraft: Brantly B-2B, registration: N2166U
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
A witness said he heard the "usual engine pop" occur about 5 or 6 times as the main rotor increased speed, and shortly after, the helicopter lifted off and rose to an altitude of about 5 or 6 feet. He again heard a loud "pop", like a loud backfire, or the bang of metal hitting metal, and saw the helicopter rock to the left, right, and left again, i.e. from side to side, and the nose pitched down. The helicopter then rolled to the left again, and one of the main rotor blades struck the concrete helipad, breaking a blade. The helicopter then descended, and impacted the concrete helipad on the left side. The rotor blades continued to rotate, and repetitively struck the ground, throwing debris over a wide area and the cockpit area subsequently erupted into flames. Postcrash examination of the helicopter revealed that the damage to the tail boom, as well as the tail and main rotor systems were consistent with overload. The tailboom separated at the aft edge of the horizontal stabilizer's location, and the tail rotor drive shaft was bent forward of the 90-degree gearbox, at the tailcone attach point. The examination revealed no evidence of preaccident anomalies with the engine or transmission. Control continuity was not established due to fire damage. Cyclic pitch control and collective push pull tubes from each respective bellcranks had melted with only molten aluminum deposits remaining under the hardware on the end of each bellcrank. Push/pull tubes from the antitorque pedals, which connect to a bellcrank and subsequently to dual cables which run the length of the empennage had extensive fire damage, and the lateral push rod had separated at both ends. The vertical push rod was separated at the lower attach end aft of the tailcone attach point. The student pilot/owner's wife, as well as witnesses stated that the student had transported the helicopter to the accident location via trailer to obtain flight instruction from the PIC. FAA records indicated that the PIC did not possess a current flight instructor certificate, and had last been issued a flight instructor certificate in on March 25, 1985 which had expired on March 31, 1987. Information from the PIC's logbook showed that he last received a biennial flight review on January 19, 1999.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The flight crew's loss of control for undermined reasons. Full narrative available
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