NTSB Identification: MIA06LA123.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 17, 2006 in Pompano Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/30/2008
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N515AA
Injuries: 1 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 pilot was conducting a post annual inspection and maintenance test flight. The pilot stated that he just completed a steep approach and elected to conduct another one. During the second approach, at about 400 feet above the ground, the helicopter seemed to mush and feel sluggish to him. Recalling during the preflight inspection, he noted minor issues during the hydraulic checks. He decided to discontinue the steep approach and fly to the landing spot on a taxiway. He wanted to increase the helicopter's airspeed to get "the aircraft on the ground ASAP." There were no visual or auditoria warning indications from the helicopter instruments of a problem; however an unusual noise would not subside behind him. He elected to perform a run-on landing in the place of a flare to a quick stop arrival. Witnesses stated that the helicopter porpoised, hitting the ground nose first then the tail rotor, followed by the helicopter sliding on its side before stopping in the grassy area of the infield. Examination of the helicopter wreckage was conducted. No abnormalities were noted with the engine, airframe, and its systems, except for the air conditioner compressor. The air conditioner compressor, located in the aft lower portion of the engine compartment, was observed with the belt off its pulley. Damages to the belt were consistent with it chafing against the nuts on the driveshaft Thomas coupling. The pulleys were misaligned; the support bracket for the compressor was loose and had missing rivets. The helicopter's maintenance records showed that the air conditioner compressor had a belt change and the base plate was re-shimmed to realign the driveshaft and the compressor during the annual inspection.

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

The pilot's improper landing flare during a precautionary landing. A factor in the accident was the unusual noise as a result of an improper repaired air conditioner compressor system.

Full narrative available

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