NTSB Identification: DEN07LA044.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 03, 2007 in Baldwin City, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2007
Aircraft: Marino Exec 162F-1995, registration: N113JD
Injuries: 1 Serious,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.

Approximately 15 minutes into the flight, the tail rotor failed, and the helicopter entered an uncommanded turn to the left. The pilot initiated an autorotation to an opening in a wooded area. The pilot flared the helicopter over the trees, and the helicopter settled into the trees. As the pilot increased the collective, the helicopter rolled to the left and came to rest inverted in the trees. Examination of the helicopter by the pilot and a mechanic revealed that the tail rotor drive system uses three belts interconnected via pulleys at various points in the tail boom, to drive the tail rotor. The intermediate tail rotor drive belt was shredded and destroyed. The forward and aft tail rotor drive belts were intact and undamaged. At the time of the accident, the tail rotor drive belts had accumulated approximately 80 hours. The tail rotor drive belts had a life limit of 250 hours. The reason for the failure of the tail rotor drive belt could not be determined.

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

the failure of the tail rotor drive belt for undetermined reasons. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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