NTSB Identification: CEN09FA012
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 13, 2008 in Conroe, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2010
Aircraft: BELL 206, registration: N6ZV
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.

This report was modified on June 28, 2010.

The news helicopter was en route to cover a breaking news story. Witnesses saw the helicopter flying approximately 350 feet above the ground when it nosed over and entered a sharp 70-degree bank and dove towards the ground. The helicopter was equipped with a video camera. Analysis of the video revealed a “small perturbation in yaw (nose towards the left) followed by a return back to the right of equal magnitude.” The perturbation was “no larger or faster” than other yaw motions seen previously during the flight. About two seconds later, the helicopter began a slow, smooth roll to the right and the ground was no longer visible. The helicopter came down through trees at a 72-degree impact angle. The right skid was embedded in the ground at a 25-degree angle. Both main rotor blades bore evidence of tree strikes. The clevis ends of the pitch change tubes remained attached to their respective horns. The pitch and collective control rods remained attached to their linkages, and the linkages were attached to their respective servos. Control continuity was established. One tail rotor blade was straight and the other blade was bent 90 degrees to the plane of rotation. There was no evidence of a main rotor blade strike against the horizontal stabilizer, synchronized elevator, or finlets or tail boom. Tail rotor continuity was established. Examination of the engine revealed the Pg line was only finger tight. Later pressure testing of the Pg line disclosed no leaks. The transmission, main drive shaft, and freewheeling unit were disassembled and inspected. No anomalies were noted. The observations from witnesses and analysis of the wreckage and impact evidence indicated a loss of power event. However, the investigation could not determine the reason for the loss of control.

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

This report was modified on June 28, 2010.

A loss of control for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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