NTSB Identification: MIA02TA109.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 12, 2002 in Okeechobee, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Agusta A119, registration: N911SL
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

Just after takeoff from the hospital helicopter-pad, at an altitude of about 250 feet, the pilot reported hearing and feeling "a loud bang," and the helicopter "yawed to the right." The paramedic in the rear of the helicopter stated that she saw parts of the tail rotor go by the left side of the helicopter. The pilot turned the helicopter to the right 270 degrees, and elected to perform a run-on landing in a cow pasture. After touchdown the helicopter skidded several feet, and nosed down in the dirt, resulting in the main rotor blades making contact with the tailboom and subsequently separating the tailboom from the fuselage. Laboratory examination revealed that the fracture of one of the tail rotor blades, was a result of fatigue cracking in the blade spar.

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

the fracture of one of the tail rotor blades as a result of fatigue cracking in the blade spar, and subsquent impact of the main rotor with the tailboom.

Full narrative available

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