NTSB Identification: CEN09TA060
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 16, 2008 in Quitman, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2009
Aircraft: BELL OH-58C, registration: N153GF
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot and the passenger were conducting a public use night surveillance flight. The pilot was wearing night vision goggles (NVGs) while operating over a large field approximately 150-feet above the ground on a westerly heading at 10 knots. The master caution light illuminated followed by the low rotor rpm light and low rotor RPM horn. The pilot lowered the collective pitch and descended straight down. The helicopter struck the ground hard in a nose low, left bank attitude. Examination of the helicopter revealed no pre-mishap mechanical deficiencies. The engine examination and limited test-run on a Rolls Royce approved test stand using a slave compressor did not reveal any deficiencies that would have prevented the engine from producing power at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot’s failure to execute a proper autorotation during a forced landing after a loss of rotor rpm for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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