NTSB Identification: IAD03LA042.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 27, 2003 in LEXINGTON, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2004
Aircraft: Bell BHT-47-G3B2A, registration: N47SN
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.

About 20 minutes into the flight, the pilot noticed an occasional "shuffle", or what felt like an "out of balance condition", and decided to return to land. As he approached the landing site, a dolly about 15 feet away, the engine lost power and the helicopter settled to the ground with the engine running. The pilot checked all the gauges for any abnormal indication, and the engine responded to throttle travel, so he lifted to a hover and started to move toward the dolly. When the helicopter was halfway over the dolly, there were more oscillations and it became harder to control. The helicopter then started to drift to the left, and the engine lost power. The pilot was unable to stop the drift or the descent. As the helicopter touched down, the left skid collapsed and the helicopter slid, rolled onto its left side, and came to rest against a fence. Examination of the helicopter revealed no mechanical deficiencies.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control while maneuvering to land after a loss of engine power. A factor was the loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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