NTSB Identification: CEN14GA109
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Friday, January 10, 2014 in Falfurrias, TX
Aircraft: AMERICAN EUROCOPTER CORP AS350B3, registration: N3948A
Injuries: 1 Serious,2 Minor.

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 public aircraft accident report.

On January 10, 2014, about 0815 central standard time, an American Eurocopter AS350B3 helicopter, N3948A, impacted trees and terrain after an emergency descent near Falfurrias, TX. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the two crew members sustained minor injuries. The helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered and operated by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Washington, DC, as a public use flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and a CBP flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from the McAllen International Airport (KMFE), McAllen, TX at 0618.

A witness reported observing the helicopter 50-100 feet above the ground and about 25 feet above the tree tops. The helicopter made an abrupt maneuver and descended into the trees.

The helicopter has been retained for further examination.

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