NTSB Identification: DFW05FA040.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Friday, December 17, 2004 in Ship Shoal 130E, GM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2005
Aircraft: Bell 407, registration: N976AA
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious,2 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

As the 5,472-hour pilot was maneuvering to land on the helideck of an offshore platform, the main rotor blades struck an object that was temporally placed on the helideck. Subsequently, the helicopter rolled off the helideck and impacted the water. The pilot stated that while he was hovering, he asked the passenger who was seated in the left front seat where the helicopter was in relation to the platform and if the left side of the helicopter was clear because he was "watching the rotor disc." The passenger informed the pilot that the helicopter was half on and half off the platform and the left side was clear. The passenger who originally wanted to go to the platform told the pilot to continue ahead and not land. As the pilot acknowledged the passenger's request, he heard a noise followed by a sudden yaw to the right and a shutter of the flight controls. The owners of the platform stated that the helideck was not operational at the time of the accident; however, the operator of the helicopter reported that they were not aware of the status of the platform. Recovery efforts ceased and the helicopter was not recovered and is presumed destroyed.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with a stationary object while maneuvering for landing. Contributing factors were the inadequate facilities available for landing, the pilot's lack of information regarding the landing area, and the operational status of the offshore platform.

Full narrative available

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