NTSB Identification: FTW02LA033.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 10, 2001 in Erath, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/29/2003
Aircraft: Bell 407, registration: N517R
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 inadvertently applied full right pedal while the helicopter was in cruise flight, resulting in a left yaw, the baggage compartment door became open, and the main rotor tie down rope exited the helicopter. The departing rope became entangled in the tail rotor system. Subsequently, the pilot lost anti-torque authority and performed an autorotative landing to an open field.

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

The pilot's inadvertant application of full right pedal which resulted in the baggage compartment door to open in-flight and a tie down rope to become entangled in the tail rotor drive system, and the failure of the tail rotor drive shaft resulting in the loss of anti-torque control.

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