NTSB Identification: LAX08CA018.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 25, 2007 in Ramona, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2007
Aircraft: Bell 206L-1, registration: N412KK
Injuries: 4 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 helicopter was flying at 100 feet agl and between 40 and 60 knots to assess damage to utility equipment from a recent wild fire in the area. While rolling out of a turn at 100 feet agl, the pilot noticed a reduction in airspeed. He said that he felt resistance on the controls as he applied forward cyclic and raised the collective in attempt to regain the desired airspeed and altitude. The helicopter responded by assuming a nose-high attitude. The pilot stated that a high power setting was needed to maintain altitude. The helicopter started to yaw to the right, which the pilot opined was due to the onset of loss of tail rotor effectiveness (LTE). He reduced power to counteract the LTE and the helicopter started to descend. The pilot decided to execute a precautionary landing. During the landing, the helicopter impacted trees and came to rest on it's left side. An FAA inspector responded to the accident site, examined the wreckage, and noted no mechanical anomalies with the helicopter or the control system.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain control and correct a descent and a loss of tail rotor effectiveness while maneuvering at a low altitude and reduced airspeed. Full narrative available
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