NTSB Identification: ERA14LA248
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 21, 2014 in Beverly, MA
Aircraft: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON CANADA 206 L4, registration: N55SL
Injuries: 2 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 May 21, 2014, about 1011 eastern daylight time, a Bell 206L-4, N55SL, landed hard following a total loss of engine power during initial climb at Beverly Municipal Airport (BVY), Beverly, Massachusetts. The commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured, and the helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was operated by Helicopters, Inc. under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local, aerial observation flight, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot, he was assigned to fly a photographer with a local news station to the Watertown, Massachusetts area to respond to a truck accident. The helicopter was parked on a trailer and the preflight and engine start portions of the flight were normal. After checking the local wind conditions, the flight was cleared to depart by tower personnel. Shortly after liftoff, the engine abruptly lost all power. The pilot attempted an autorotation to a taxiway, but chose to land in the grass adjacent to the taxiway when it became apparent the he would not make the taxiway. During the flare and landing, the main rotor contacted the tail boom, severing it just aft of the horizontal stabilizer. The helicopter came to rest on the landing gear and the pilot and passenger exited the aircraft.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The engine inspection revealed that the combustion section outer case was ruptured in the elbow area. The engine was removed and will be examined at a later date at an overhaul facility under the direction of the NTSB.

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