NTSB Identification: MIA06CA096
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 21, 2006 in Bonifay, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Eurocopter Deutschland EC135T2, registration: N914EF
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 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.
The pilot stated that the helicopter was brought to a hover and began acceleration down runway 19 for the takeoff. At approximately 100 feet above the ground, while at 100 kts, with no visible warning, he entered clouds but the runway was still visible underneath. He started to abort and began a level deceleration. Immediately afterwards he lowered the collective, and the paramedic in the front seat said " Rotor RPM" and he looked inside to see what was happening. When he looked back outside the helicopter, about a second later, his first visible reference was trees and bushes rapidly approaching. He pulled max torque and within 1 or 2 seconds the helicopter landed level and hard, just off the side at the very end of the runway. The helicopter bounced into the air after the impact. He brought the helicopter to a hover and noted the helicopter was dangerously close to bushes and trees. He maneuvered the helicopter away from the tree line toward the runway and landed at the helipad. After landing, the right rear of the helicopter was noted lower than normal. Everyone onboard exited the helicopter without assistance. The operator stated that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter or any of its systems prior to the accident. The Federal Aviation Administration inspector who responded to the accident stated that the landing skids were splayed outwards with the apparent appearance of a hard landing. Damage to the helicopter was noted to the bottom of the enclosure surrounding the tail rotor blade.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain main rotor rpm and proper descent rate resulting in a hard landing. A related factor in this accident was inadvertent encounter with clouds.
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