NTSB Identification: DFW05LA252.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 01, 2005 in Myrtle Grove, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2006
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N59539
Injuries: 4 Minor.

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 private pilot was flying three passengers for hire along the Mississippi River, to inspect and look for missing barges following Hurricane Katrina, when he experienced a loss of tail rotor control. At an altitude about 200 feet above ground level (agl), the helicopter took a sudden right turn and climbed approximately 100 feet before it started spinning in a clockwise direction and descended. The helicopter continued to spin until it impacted a barge and fell into the river about 300 feet from the riverbank. The pilot and passengers were able to egress the sinking helicopter and swam to shore unassisted. A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records revealed the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and helicopter. Multiple attempts to obtain a completed Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) from the pilot were unsuccessful. As of January 23, 2006, the helicopter had not been located or recovered.

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

The pilot's loss of control in flight for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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