On September 29, 1996, about 1245 eastern daylight time, a Bell 47G-3B-1 helicopter, N1397X, registered to a private owner, operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 91, personal flight, crashed in the vicinity of Borinquen, Puerto Rico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The private pilot was not injured. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot had landed in the grass near runway 8. He turned left to hover taxi which resulted in the helicopter hovering with a 20 knot tail wind. The helicopter was hover taxiing about 18 inches above the ground, when the left front landing skid struck the ground, resulting in the main rotor blades striking the ground. This was the pilot's, first solo flight, as a student helicopter pilot, after being endorsed for solo flight the day before the accident.
According to the FAA Inspector's statement, the pilot stated, "...a gust of wind hit the helicopter causing the left front section of the skid to hit the ground and break...." The reported winds at the time of the accident were from 070 degrees, at 20 knots with gusts to 25 knots.