NTSB Identification: WPR14LA159
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 04, 2014 in Missoula, MT
Aircraft: BELL 206B III, registration: N43MA
Injuries: 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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 4, 2014, about 1545 mountain daylight time, a Bell 206B-III helicopter, N43MA, was substantially damaged during a liftoff attempt at Missoula International airport (MSO), Missoula, Montana. Both pilots on board received minor injuries. The helicopter was operated by Minuteman Aviation Incorporated (MAI), and the instructional flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no FAA flight plan was filed for the flight.

According to the pilot under instruction, she was undergoing training and evaluation for possible employment by the operator as a Bell 206 pilot. On the day of the accident, after a flight with another MAI pilot, she landed and remained in the right seat, while the other pilot exited and the MAI chief pilot (CP) took the left seat. She then flew the helicopter to another location on the airport. The approach and landing were into the wind, approximately parallel to MSO runway 29. After a brief discussion in which it was agreed that the CP would demonstrate the next maneuver that he wanted to see, the CP attempted a liftoff.

According to the CP, the right skid felt like it was "stuck" to the ground. Despite his efforts to correct the situation, the CP was unable to successfully set the helicopter fully back down. The helicopter rolled over onto its right side, and sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, tail boom, and main rotor. The CP shut the helicopter down, and both occupants exited the aircraft. The CP did not report any pre-rollover mechanical deficiencies or failures of the helicopter, and a post-accident examination of the helicopter by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors did not detect any such deficiencies or failures.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) information indicated that the helicopter was manufactured in 1991, and was equipped with an Allison (Rolls-Royce) 250-C20 series turboshaft engine. MAI information indicated that the helicopter had accumulated a total time in service of approximately 7,484 hours.

The CP reported a total flight experience of about 19,000 hours, including about 5,310 hours in helicopters, and about 1,500 hours in the accident helicopter make and model. The pilot under instruction reported a total flight experience of about 1,200 hours, including about 1,080 hours in helicopters, and about 5 hours in the accident helicopter make and model.

The MSO 1553 automated weather observation included winds from 320 degrees at 11 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 6,500 feet, temperature 11 degrees C, dew point minus 2 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.81 inches of mercury.

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