NTSB Identification: ERA11TA318
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Sunday, May 29, 2011 in Ft. Pierce, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/07/2012
Aircraft: BELL OH-58A, registration: N911SL
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The pilot was maneuvering the helicopter at low altitude during a search mission. After completing a low level, slow speed, right turn, the helicopter experienced a nose dip and began to spin. The pilot took corrective actions in an attempt to stop the spinning, but the actions failed, and the helicopter impacted the ground hard. No preimpact mechanical irregularities were noted with the helicopter during the wreckage examination. The pilot stated that he was more focused on the mission than on flying the helicopter and was caught off guard when the uncommanded right yaw started. He reported that he lost awareness of the wind condition and did not recognize the possibility of a loss of tail rotor effectiveness (LTE) event. As a result of the accident, the helicopter operator implemented additional training and awareness courses and required their pilots to complete mission-oriented emergency procedures flight training and specific training on LTE prevention, onset, and recovery.

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

The pilot's failure to recognize and avoid a loss of tail rotor effectiveness, which resulted in a loss of control and hard landing.

Full narrative available

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