NTSB Identification: DFW07FA198.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 12, 2007 in Hosston, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Fairchild Hiller FH-1100, registration: N313BG
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot and pilot rated passenger were on a 1,620-nautical mile cross-country flight following the purchase of the accident helicopter. Following a fuel stop, they had progressed approximately 180 miles when the helicopter's main rotor and rotor hub assembly separated from the upper mast. The helicopter subsequently entered an uncontrolled descent and impacted the ground. There were no eyewitnesses to the accident. Examination of the main rotor mast fracture surfaces revealed signatures consistent with mast bumping. Though there was evidence of a mast bumping event, the initiating event is unknown. Examination of the wreckage disclosed no anomalies that would have prevented normal system operation and the engine displayed evidence of rotation at the time of ground impact. The cockpit also exhibited damage consistent with main rotor contact. On the day of the accident, the outer bands of a tropical storm made landfall on the Louisiana coast. However, automated weather observing systems located inland near the accident site were reporting visual meteorological conditions at the time of the accident.

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

The in-flight separation of the main rotor mast while in cruise flight following a mast bumping event. The reason for the mast bumping event was not determined.

Full narrative available

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