NTSB Identification: NYC03LA063.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 08, 2003 in Zelienople, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2004
Aircraft: Brantly Helicopter B-2B, registration: N2238U
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 hovering over a taxiway, the tail rotor assembly separated and the helicopter began to spin. The helicopter struck the ground and rolled over. Examination of the helicopter revealed that the separated tail rotor assembly and gearbox had the mounting portion of the top bulkhead ring still attached by the associated attachment bolts. Examination of the helicopter tail boom pylon revealed the top bulkhead ring attachment flange remained riveted in place. Chaffing damage was observed on the left and right side fracture surfaces, consistent with preexisting cracks. In addition, areas of corrosion were observed on the inner surface of the top bulkhead ring. The pilot did not posses a pilot or medical certificate. He reported 60 hours of total flight experience, all accumulated in the accident helicopter. The pilot stated he maintained the helicopter. He did not posses an FAA airframe or power plant certificate. According to maintenance records, the helicopter's most recent annual inspection was performed about 16 months prior to the accident.

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

The failure of the tail rotor assembly due to improper maintenance by the owner/pilot.

Full narrative available

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