NTSB Identification: WPR09CA148
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 08, 2009 in Long Beach, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/2009
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS350BA, registration: N234AH
Injuries: 1 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 pilot said that he thought that the approach to the helipad seemed and felt normal, but in retrospect was flat. A witness thought that the approach was flat and fast. He indicated that the helicopter was in a nose-high attitude when the tail rotor hit the ground between rocks at the waterline and the edge of the pad. The pilot felt a jolt followed by a shutter. Because of the tail rotor damage, the helicopter yawed out of control to the left. It rotated 360 degrees as the pilot lowered the collective. Once completely on the ground, he pulled the fuel flow control lever out of the flight gate, pulled the emergency fuel shutoff control, and powered everything down while applying the main rotor brake.

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

The pilot's misjudged speed and altitude, which resulted in an undershoot of the landing zone.

Full narrative available

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