NTSB Identification: CHI02LA181.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 06, 2002 in Three Rivers, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N60EA
Injuries: 2 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 helicopter sustained substantial damage during an emergency landing after liftoff. The pilot reported that a normal takeoff was made to the southwest, and upon reaching an altitude of 75 feet, he began a turn to the south and noticed that the aircraft was not responding to the turn. When the helicopter began to accelerate forward it started to spin to the right and the tail rotor lost all effectiveness. The helicopter spun 3 and 1/2 revolutions and the pilot then maneuvered it to an open pasture for the emergency landing. He lowered the collective bringing the aircraft to the ground for a level touchdown with no forward motion. The pilot stated that a local airport reported a wind from the southeast at 4 knots, and prior to the departure the wind was "non existent." No anomalies were found with the helicopter or its flight control systems that were determined to exist prior to impact. According to the FAA, a loss of tail rotor effectiveness (LTE) is "not related to an equipment or maintenance malfunction and may occur in all single-rotor helicopters at airspeeds less than 30 knots. It is the result of the tail rotor not providing adequate thrust to maintain directional control, and is usually caused by either certain wind azimuths (directions) while hovering, or by an insufficient tail rotor thrust for a given power setting at higher altitudes."

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

A loss of tail rotor effectiveness.

Full narrative available

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