NTSB Identification: WPR09CA008
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 11, 2008 in Florence, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/05/2008
Aircraft: BELL 47J-2A, registration: N8567F
Injuries: 3 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 pilot reported that he was preparing to land the helicopter at an off airport landing site and encountered a wind shift or wind shear on base leg that resulted in an uncommanded yaw followed by a rapid descent rate. Before impacting the ground the pilot was able to reduce the descent rate and level the helicopter. The accident site was desert terrain that sloped downward from the right to the left. During the accident sequence the helicopter rolled over. The pilot said that people on the ground told him that just prior to the accident there was a sudden wind storm that passed through the area that forced the people on the ground to take shelter inside an enclosure to escape the wind. The pilot stated that he had no communication with the people at the landing site and no knowledge of the wind storm. The pilot further stated that the helicopter and engine had no mechanical failures or malfunctions during the flight. The closest weather observation station, located 25 miles to the west, was reporting westerly winds at 20 knots, with gusts to 26 knots, at the time of the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot’s inadequate compensation for a wind shift encountered during the landing approach, which resulted in a hard landing and rollover. Contributing to the accident was the encounter with the wind shift. Full narrative available
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