NTSB Identification: WPR12LA408
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 09, 2012 in Grand Canyon, AZ
Aircraft: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON 206L-1, registration: N5745Y
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 9, 2012, at 1152 mountain standard time (MST), a Bell 206L-1, N5745Y, made a forced autorotation following a loss of engine power near Grand Canyon, Arizona. Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters was operating the helicopter under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom when it was struck by one of the main rotor blades. The local flight departed Grand Canyon at 1131 MST. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that during a maintenance release flight, he attempted to enter a simulated autorotation to check the main rotor rpm. The pilot stated that when he retarded the throttle the engine quit. During the landing, a main rotor blade impacted the tail boom causing it to depart the airframe. The helicopter had just completed a scheduled 100-hour maintenance inspection.

The helicopter was recovered from the landing site for further examination.

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