NTSB Identification: CEN09CA351
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 12, 2009 in Justin, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/10/2009
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N43791
Injuries: 2 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 instructor pilot was demonstrating an “extended glide” autorotation to a paved landing “lane” when the accident occurred. The autorotation was initiated at an altitude of approximately 740 feet above ground level (agl). Upon reaching an altitude of 75 feet agl, the pilot determined that he was going to land short of the paved surface so he applied power; however, lift was suddenly lost. He then noticed a raised concrete lip between the grass and the landing lane so he applied aft cyclic hoping the front of the skids would not catch on the raised pavement. The helicopter touched down in the soft terrain, slid over the rise in the pavement, and became airborne. The helicopter then touched down on the pavement, at which time the tail boom was severed. The helicopter slid about 75 feet and turned to the right about 40 degrees prior to coming to rest. Winds at the time of the accident were from 180 degrees at 9 knots, gusting to 18 knots. The autorotation was being performed to the south.

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

The instructor pilot's failure to add sufficient power early enough to compensate for the strong gusting headwinds.

Full narrative available

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