NTSB Identification: WPR12CA294
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 04, 2012 in Quincy, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/09/2012
Aircraft: OMLIN ROBERT G EXEC 162F ROTORWAY, registration: N385AR
Injuries: 2 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 reported that, before departure, he attached a 3-foot by 4-foot American flag to the landing skids of the helicopter. Following an uneventful takeoff, he climbed to an altitude of about 200 feet above ground level. Shortly thereafter, the flag disconnected from the skids and impacted the tail rotor. The pilot initiated an autorotation to a nearby field. Examination of the helicopter by the pilot revealed that about half of the tail boom and tail rotor assembly had separated. The pilot reported that before the flag separated, no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter existed that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot’s failure to ensure that a flag attached to the landing skid was properly secured, which resulted in its in-flight separation and contact with the tail rotor.

Full narrative available

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