NTSB Identification: FTW03LA072.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 31, 2002 in High Island 471, GM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/02/2004
Aircraft: Bell 206-L4, registration: N177AL
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.

While repositioning the helicopter on an offshore platform during gusty wind conditions, the pilot lost control of the helicopter. On the morning of the accident flight, the pilot completed a preflight of the helicopter and noted no discrepancies with the helicopter. After the preflight, the pilot delayed the flight until the winds subsided. After an uneventful engine start, the helicopter lifted off the platform to a 3 to 5-foot hover, and the pilot turned the helicopter 180 degrees into the wind. After a sudden wind gust of approximately 30 knots, the pilot set the helicopter back down onto the platform. The pilot stated that the wind gusts subsided to 20 knots, and he attempted to takeoff from the platform again. During the takeoff, the helicopter "immediately started to bounce uncontrollably and [slide] to the left (south)." The helicopter came to rest upright on the safety fence of the platform. The tail boom was partially separated, and the skids and the main rotor mast were bent. No pre-accident anomalies were noted during examination of the helicopter.

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

The pilot's attempt to takeoff during known adverse weather conditions and failure to maintain control of the helicopter while maneuvering. Contributing factors were the gusty and high wind conditions.

Full narrative available

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