NTSB Identification: FTW02FA017
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 19, 2001 in Roswell, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2003
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS350B2, registration: N111DT
Injuries: 2 Fatal,2 Serious.

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.

After a maximum performance takeoff (to clear wires) from a parking lot, the helicopter departed the area to the west and climbed to an altitude of 5,500 feet msl. After selecting a landing zone, the pilot turned northwest toward the area and initiated a descent. The pilot's intention was to bring the helicopter to a high hover, allow the dust to settle, and then land. As the helicopter descended to about 200 feet agl, at an airspeed of 115-120 knots, the pilot initiated a right turn into the wind. As the helicopter was turning, the pilot realized the turn was "too steep" and tried to shallow the turn; however, the cyclic would not move. At one point the pilot tried to neutralize the cyclic with both hands but to no avail. The pilot did not remember any "stiffness" with the collective, and he did not hear a warning horn or see any lights illuminate. Subsequently, the helicopter impacted the ground. No pre-impact anomalies were observed during an examination of the airframe and engine. No anomalies were noted during the examination and testing of the hydraulic servos that would have prevented their operation.

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

The seizing of the cyclic control for an undetermined reason. A contributing factor was the lack of altitude for the pilot to regain control of the helicopter.

Full narrative available

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