NTSB Identification: ERA13LA018
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 12, 2012 in Yorktown, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2013
Aircraft: SIKORSKY S-55B, registration: N443FD
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.

During cruise flight, the pilot heard an unusual noise and, after circling while attempting to determine the source of the noise, he elected to perform a precautionary landing to a nearby farm field. During the approach to land with a quartering tailwind, the pilot used the collective to arrest the descent rate; however, after having used the full travel of the collective with no appreciable reduction in the descent rate, the helicopter landed in the soft ground, all four landing gear sank, and the helicopter rolled over and came to rest on its left side. No preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal operation. A nearby weather recording station recorded the wind about the time of the accident as being from the north-northwest at 12 knots, gusting to 16 knots. According to the pilot, the helicopter was moving forward at a speed of about 10 knots at touchdown. Considering the tailwind and the helicopter's low airspeed, it is likely that the airspeed slowed to the point where the helicopter lost translational lift and began to settle with power.

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

The pilot's improper decision to perform a downwind precautionary landing and the helicopter’s resultant settling with power and impact with terrain.

Full narrative available

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