NTSB Identification: CEN14IA270
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Incident occurred Friday, May 30, 2014 in Eugene Island 182A, GM
Aircraft: BELL 407, registration: N1197
Injuries: 6 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 used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

On May 30, 2014, about 0945 central daylight time, a Bell model 407 helicopter, N1197, experienced a partial loss of engine power after lifting off from the Eugene 182A oil rig helipad. The pilot deployed the emergency flotation system and safely landed on the Gulf of Mexico. The pilot and five passengers were not injured. The helicopter was not damaged during the forced landing; however, it subsequently capsized and was substantially damaged during the recovery effort. The aircraft was registered to GM Leasing Company and operated by Westwind Helicopters Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as an on-demand air taxi flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the incident. The intended destination was the Abbeville Chris Crusta Memorial Airport (IYA), Abbeville, Louisiana.

The pilot reported that after picking up into a hover, he applied forward cyclic to begin the takeoff. About the time that the helicopter reached the edge of the platform, the engine started to lose power. He nosed the helicopter forward to clear the platform. The low rotor speed horn came on and the warning light illuminated. The pilot inflated the floats, leveled the helicopter, and landed in the water. After shutting down the engine and securing the main rotor, the passengers and pilot exited the helicopter.

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