NTSB Identification: DFW05CA181
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 14, 2005 in Houston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: Messerschmitt BK-117 B-2, registration: N440HH
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While on an extended downwind for an approach to runway 14L, the crew requested to open the left sliding passenger door. The 7,135-hour pilot approved the request and at an altitude of approximately 100 feet above ground level (agl), and while at 55 knots indicated airspeed, the left sliding passenger door exited the helicopter and made contact with all four main rotor blades. The pilot immediately descended to a three-foot agl hover and with no indication of control problems, proceeded approximately 1,800 feet to a helipad and landed. An examination of the sliding door and attaching hardware, by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, revealed that the lower door guide rail had worn sufficiently enough to allow the door to exit the helicopter when the door handle was placed in the open position.

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

The separation of the left passenger door due to worn attaching hardware.

Full narrative available

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