NTSB Identification: CEN13LA119
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Saturday, December 29, 2012 in Big Lake, TX
Aircraft: BELL 407, registration: N534MT
Injuries: 4 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 December 29, 2012, about 1148 central standard time, a Bell 407 helicopter, N534MT, lost engine power and crashed while diverting to Reagan Municipal Airport (E41), Big Lake, Texas. The three crewmembers and one passenger received no injuries. The aircraft received substantial damage. The aircraft was registered to and operated by Med-Trans Corporation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as an on-demand Emergency Medical Services operator. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a company visual flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from a hospital helipad in Ft Stockton, Texas, at 1114, with its intended destination as San Angelo, Texas.

The pilot declared an emergency and elected to divert due to an engine anomaly. Additionally, just prior to the loss of engine power, the flight crew stated that an odor similar to burning grease or oil was evident in the aircraft cabin. During the forced landing, the helicopter’s main rotor blades struck the tail boom, severing the tail rotor gearbox assembly at the horizontal stabilizer.

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