NTSB Identification: NYC08CA252
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 19, 2008 in Stuart, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2011
Aircraft: BUSCHMANN ROBERT E HELICYCLE, registration: N3375C
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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.

According to the student pilot of the amateur-built helicycle, he made an uneventful approach to a taxiway with a calm wind. About 1 foot above the ground, the nose started yawing to the right. The pilot applied left rudder to no effect, but was able to land the helicopter without incident. All instrument readings were normal and there were no unusual vibrations. Then, in an effort to move the helicopter from the taxiway, the pilot entered into a hover and applied right pedal to turn. The pilot continued raising the collective, and applied left pedal to stop the right turn; however, the helicopter would not stop turning. After the pilot lowered the collective the right skid hit the ground and collapsed, the rotor blades impacted the ground, and the lower portion of the vertical stabilizer was bent. The pilot subsequently determined that a fuel spill on the helicopter's drive belts resulted in a loss of tail rotor effectiveness.

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

The pilot's improper decision to take off with a known discrepancy. Contributing to the accident was spilled fuel on the drive belts.

Full narrative available

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