NTSB Identification: SEA04LA090.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 23, 2004 in Auburn, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/24/2005
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N206AF
Injuries: 5 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 pilot reported that while in cruise flight at about 900 to 1,000 feet above ground level, 95 knots, and 80% torque, without warning, the helicopter suddenly lost altitude and yawed violently to the left and rapidly rolled (pilot unsure as to which direction). The pilot initiated an autorotation to a field, maneuvering to avoid trees. The pilot stated that during the flare, he pulled in collective, and the helicopter yawed, so he "rolled off the throttle." The helicopter touched down with almost no forward speed, the right landing skid collapsed and rolled over onto its right side. The pilot stated that he did not recall hearing the engine out beeper or the low rotor RPM horn and he did not note the engine or rotor RPM indications during the descent. Post accident inspection of the airframe and subsequent inspection and teardown of the engine and associated components did not find evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction.

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

Loss of control for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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