CHI08LA104
CHI08LA104

On April 9, 2008, at 1200 edt, a Baby Belle, experimental rotorcraft, N6261N, landed hard at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Lakeland, Florida, after experiencing a loss of tail rotor effectiveness. The experimental rotorcraft was substantially damaged. The pilot, the only occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight had departed Lakeland and was demonstrating a low altitude right pedal turn as part of the Sun n' Fun airshow.

The pilot reported that the aircraft had a Revolutions per Minute (RPM) sensor that got engaged in the tailrotor drive shaft, eventually breaking the shaft. An FAA inspector looked at the failure and said the rotor RPM sensor started vibrating due to the failure of the #1 hanger bearing, resulting in failure of the tail rotor drive shaft, and a jammed tail rotor.

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