NTSB Identification: WPR10CA364
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 24, 2010 in Big Bear City, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: BELL 206 B II, registration: N788BD
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 was approaching the airport for landing about 350 feet above ground level when a fixed-wing airplane taxied in front of his intended landing spot and stopped. He slowed the helicopter to avoid blowing the airplane and the helicopter subsequently lost tail rotor effectiveness. The helicopter then rapidly descended to the ground and came to rest in a drainage depression. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and tail boom during the accident sequence and the pilot was not injured. The airport elevation was 6,572 feet mean sea level (msl) and the calculated density altitude at the time of the accident was about 9,300 feet msl. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter and further stated that he could have prevented the accident by avoiding slow speeds at high density altitudes.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing approach.

Full narrative available

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