NTSB Identification: FTW01LA202.
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Accident occurred Monday, September 03, 2001 in Lubbock, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2002
Aircraft: Hiller UH-12D, registration: N2770
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

The helicopter pilot was spraying a cotton field at 4 feet agl, when he felt a vibration followed by a "pop" with a loss of tail rotor control. Subsequently, during the forced landing to the cotton field, the main rotor blades struck the tailboom separating it from the fuselage. Examination of the helicopter, by an FAA inspector revealed that a tail rotor drive shaft hanger bearing had failed, and the tail rotor drive shaft had separated.

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

the failure of the tail rotor drive shaft hanger bearing, which resulted in the separation of the tail rotor drive shaft. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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