DEN03LA018
DEN03LA018

On November 22, 2002, at 1830 mountain standard time, an Enstrom F-28C helicopter, N552CS, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage when it made a hard landing in a ditch along a road near Morrison, Colorado. Prior to the hard landing, the helicopter's tail rotor struck telephone lines during a landing attempt. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted without a flight plan under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The pilot reported minor injuries. The passenger on board reported no injuries. The flight originated at Longmont, Colorado, at 1800.

In his written statement, the pilot said he was approaching a landing area, located just east of a restaurant, from the south. The pilot said that during the approach he could not see the lighted flag on top of the restaurant, thus he could not determine the wind direction or velocity for landing. He said he executed a go around and began maneuvering so that he could approach the landing area from the east. The pilot said that at the "northern most point of the go around, a tail rotor strike was felt." The pilot immediately put the helicopter down on a road.

An examination of the wreckage showed the left skid broken upward. The right skid was bent upward and the bottom fuselage, aft of the pilot seat, was crushed upward. Both tail rotor blades were bent near mid span. Both main rotor blades were bent and twisted. Control continuity was confirmed. An examination of the helicopter's systems revealed no anomalies.

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