NTSB Identification: MIA05TA124.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 29, 2005 in St. Augustine, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2006
Aircraft: Bell OH-58A, registration: N244RP
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The purpose of the flight was to reposition the helicopter to a high school for a static display. After takeoff from a confined area consisting of an immediately adjacent building, antenna, and a parking lot with numerous cars, the pilot executed a pedal turn to depart over the parking lot. During climb out while flying between 35 to 40 feet agl, and between 30 to 35 knots, he heard a "bang" and the helicopter yawed to the right. He later stated the right yaw may have been due to his over correction. He lowered the collective and turned left in an attempt to land on grass at the edge of the parking lot. He pulled collective to clear vehicles below and as a result, the helicopter impacted the ground hard; the main rotor blades collided with several vehicles. Examination of the helicopter revealed no discrepancies with the tail rotor drive system. The main drive shaft was fractured at both ends; no evidence of preexisting cracks were noted. Examination of the engine revealed leading and trailing edge damage to the first and second stage compressor blades, while the 3rd, 4th, and 5th stage compressor blades were fractured near the blade root. No evidence of preexisting cracking was noted on any of the fractured compressor blades.

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

The failure of the compressor section of the engine for undetermined reasons resulting in the total loss of engine power during the initial climb. A factor in the accident was the operator's use of a confined area for takeoff during non-emergency or routine situations.

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