NTSB Identification: CEN11LA646
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 15, 2011 in Spicewood, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/02/2012
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N3181J
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

While maneuvering the helicopter at an altitude of about 400 feet above ground level, the pilot heard the low rotor aural warning in his headset and observed that the rotor speed gauge was reading about 80 percent and decreasing. He lowered the collective, initiated a left turn, and began an autorotative descent to hilly terrain that contained trees and power lines. During the autorotation, the pilot attempted to avoid the power lines, and the helicopter impacted terrain. Although the pilot reported that he believed the engine lost power, a postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions. Additionally, the helicopter’s engine was run in a test cell for 1 hour 50 minutes with no anomalies detected.

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

The pilot did not maintain adequate rotor rpm during a low-altitude maneuvering flight.

Full narrative available

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