NTSB Identification: NYC04LA079.
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Accident occurred Sunday, February 29, 2004 in Medina, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/24/2005
Aircraft: Geoffrion Rotorway Exec 162, registration: N198BG
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 amateur built helicopter was in cruise flight at an altitude 1,100 feet above the ground, when the pilot heard a pop and loud bang. He immediately initiated an autorotation and felt that he had the helicopter under control, until it began to pitch down. Due to strong vibrations, the pilot was not able to read any of the instruments, including rotor RPM. The helicopter struck trees and came to rest in a residential area. During the impact, a main rotor blade struck the tail boom in the area of the horizontal stabilizer. Examination of the helicopter revealed that the tail boom was severed, the tail rotor drive pulley was split in half, the tail rotor drive belts were broken, and the third bulkhead was fractured into several pieces. All of the main rotor drive belts and pulleys remained attached. Continuity of the cyclic and collective controls was confirmed; and no engine abnormalities were noted. One tail rotor blade was severed at the pitch pin. Both tail rotor blades exhibited dents; however, they did not display the rearward bending of spar and skin that would be consistent with blade rotation at impact. Due to the impact damage, the pre-impact condition of the tail rotor drive system could not be determined.

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

A failure of the helicopter's tail rotor drive system for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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