FTW00LA161
FTW00LA161

On May 31, 2000, at 0930 central daylight time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N7817S, was substantially damaged when it rolled over while attempting to takeoff from Parker Rig 51B platform located near Cocodrie, Louisiana. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Panther Helicopters, Inc., of Belle Chasse, Louisiana. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the helicopter, sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company VFR flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 nonscheduled air taxi flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident, and the intended destination was Belle Chasse, Louisiana.

According to the operator, as the helicopter began to takeoff from the platform, its nose pitched up. Subsequently, the helicopter fell off the right side of the platform, dropping 25 feet onto two crew boats that were tied to the platform's boat dock. The helicopter came to rest on its right side.

Examination of the platform by the FAA inspector revealed damage to the safety fence consistent with the helicopter's tail stinger having been caught in the fence.

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