NTSB Identification: ANC12CA032
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 21, 2012 in Palmer, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/18/2012
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 ALPHA, registration: N121MR
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 pilot flew to a practice area and landed the helicopter on what the pilot thought was firm snow. As he landed, the helicopter suddenly broke through the surface and its tailrotor struck the snow. The pilot repositioned the helicopter and the tailrotor gearbox chip detector light illuminated. An examination showed that the tailrotor driveshaft had sheared.

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

The pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for landing, which resulted in a tailrotor strike.

Full narrative available

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