NTSB Identification: ERA13FA070
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 30, 2012 in Apollo Beach, FL
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA II, registration: N2626N
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On November 30, 2012, about 1515 eastern standard time, a Robinson R22 BETA II, N2626N, operated by Fly N Choppers, was substantially damaged when it impacted water, following a main rotor blade separation in flight near Apollo Beach, Florida. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed Peter O Knight Airport (TPF), Tampa, Florida, about 1500.
According to preliminary data from the Federal Aviation Administration, the helicopter departed its home base at Clearwater Airpark (CLW), Clearwater, Florida about 1405. It flew over the local area and landed briefly at TPF, before performing another local flight. Witnesses reported that the helicopter was flying along the beach, from north to south, about 500 feet above ground level. The witnesses heard a bang, followed by a main rotor blade separation. The helicopter then immediately rolled right and descended nose down in to a bay, about 200 yards from shore.
The helicopter was recovered from the bay 2 days later. The engine and rotor mast remained attached to the airframe. The rotor hub remained attached to the rotor mast; however, both spindle assemblies and their respective main rotor blades had separated from the hub and were not recovered. The tailboom separated about 6 feet from the transmission and the tailrotor remained with the tailboom. The rotor hub was retained for further examination and a further search for the main rotor blades was planned.
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