NTSB Identification: LAX01LA292.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, August 28, 2001 in Mesa, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2002
Aircraft: Bell 206-L4, registration: N995PM
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During a practice autorotation, the helicopter landed hard bending the tail boom. An examination of the helicopter indicated the damage resulted from the hard landing. The tail boom had ripped out at the aft bulkhead, and the landing skids were bent upward at the aft end. The nose of the helicopter was also damaged when the helicopter rocked forward after the hard landing. The helicopter then stopped upright on the skids with no damage to the main rotor blades. The pilot stated that he was doing a practice autorotation landing when the accident occurred. During the last landing, the helicopter "fell through" much faster than anticipated. The pilot stated that no mechanical anomalies were experienced prior to or after the accident. The temperature at the time of the accident was 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The pilot stated that in the future he will allow a higher margin for autorotation power recovery in hot conditions.

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

The pilot's improper autorotation in that he failed to attain the proper descent rate resulting in a hard landing and subsequent airframe damage. A factor was the high temperature.

Full narrative available

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