NTSB Identification: ERA13TA021
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Saturday, October 13, 2012 in Jackson, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2013
Aircraft: BELL OH-58A, registration: N40TN
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The pilot was providing aerial observation for law enforcement activity on the ground when he observed the rotor rpm decaying. He initiated a descending left 180-degree autorotation to a flat, grassy area. As he was lining up for the intended landing area, he noticed that a man on a riding lawnmower was moving toward his intended touchdown point. To avoid a collision, he maneuvered the helicopter to the right to get ahead of the lawnmower. The pilot determined that he could not make his intended touchdown point and landed on uneven terrain. The helicopter impacted the ground, which resulted in damage to the fuselage, main rotor system and separation of the tail boom. The reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined despite a thorough engine examination and test run.

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

A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons because postaccident examination of the engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Full narrative available

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