NTSB Identification: CEN12LA525
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 07, 2012 in Avalon, TX
Aircraft: BELL 214ST, registration: N409SB
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On August 7, 2012, about 0845 central standard time, a Bell 214ST helicopter, N409SB, experienced a loss of tail rotor authority near Avalon, Texas. The commercial and airline transport pilots were not injured during the precautionary landing, and the helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was owned and operated by Bell Helicopter, Textron, Inc. Fort Worth, Texas, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a research and development flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight which operated without a flight plan.
An initial report from the commercial pilot to the responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector stated that they had departed Arlington Municipal Airport (KGKY) on a test and evaluation flight. According to the pilot, the helicopter had just completed a right turn, when they both heard a “bang”. The pilot added that their chase aircraft reported that something had departed the tail of the helicopter. They then entered an autorotation for a nearby field; however, helicopter yawed and rolled right on landing.
After recovery, the helicopter will be retained for further examination.
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