NTSB Identification: ERA10CA075
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 20, 2009 in Lebanon, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2010
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269C-1, registration: N321ET
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 stated that he was performing his first solo autorotation to a full landing. He began the maneuver at approximately 1000 feet, and near the ground he noticed that he had a higher than normal rate of descent. He flared late and the helicopter “settled fast”. As the helicopter touched down, the tail struck the ground resulting in substantial damage to the tail boom, tail rotor drive shaft, and tail rotor assembly. The pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the helicopter prior to the accident.

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

The pilot’s failure to arrest the helicopter descent during the simulated engine out maneuver resulting in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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