NTSB Identification: DFW07CA185.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Sunday, August 12, 2007 in Houma, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2007
Aircraft: Bell 206, registration: N85TC
Injuries: 1 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 single-engine helicopter was conducting a round-robin flight between two offshore oil platforms. On the return flight, the pilot heard an unusual noise followed by "pronounced roughness in the tail rotor system." After a few seconds the roughness decreased and the pilot determined that the tail rotor was still functional. After landing, the pilot performed a post-flight inspection of the helicopter and discovered a metal wire wrapped around both sides of the tail rotor. Post accident examination revealed structural damage to the tail rotor blades, the tail boom, and the lower portion of the vertical fin assembly, including the tail skid. According to the pilot's statement a 3-foot-by-4- foot sunshade used to protect the cockpit windows, departed the helicopter during the flight. The pilot reported that he had failed to properly secure the sunshade prior to takeoff, which inadvertently exited an open window and became entangled in the tail rotor system. The 11,944-hour airline transport rated pilot reported having accumulated 375-hours in the same make and model helicopter.

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

The pilot's failure to properly secure all loose items prior to takeoff.

Full narrative available

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