NTSB Identification: WPR11GA431
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Sunday, September 04, 2011 in Tehachapi, CA
Aircraft: BELL 205, registration: N205WW
Injuries: 1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. : NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

On September 4, 2011, about 1445 Pacific daylight time, a Bell 205A-1, N205WW, landed hard during an off field forced landing near Tehachapi, California. The Kern County Fire Department was operating the helicopter as a public-use fire suppression flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 133. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries; the helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom from impact forces. No flight plan had been filed for the local flight.

The helicopter had a water bucket as an external load, and the pilot stated that the helicopter experienced a loss of engine power. He released the bucket, and performed an autorotation into a clear area of uneven terrain. The helicopter landed hard; the skids collapsed, and the tail boom buckled.

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