On March 4, 2009, at 1148 Atlantic standard time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N83086, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Phillipsburg, Saint Maarten, Netherlands, Antilles. The pilot and 2 passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local sightseeing flight.

According to information released by the Directorate of Civil Aviation, the helicopter was maneuvering when the pilot noticed a loss of altitude and a corresponding decrease in engine and rotor rpm. The pilot entered autorotation, and maneuvered the helicopter towards the beach. During the descent, he noted that the "engine out" caution light was illuminated. As he approached the landing area, the pilot observed that the beach was crowded, and elected to land in the water. The helicopter landed upright in shallow water, but was subsequently upset by the surf.

The accident occurred in the vicinity of 18 degrees, 02 minutes north latitude, 63 degrees, 06 minutes west longitude.

This investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of Netherlands Antilles. Any further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Directorate of Civil Aviation
(Ministry of Communications)
Seru Mahuma z/n
Curacao, Netherlands Antilles

Tel: (599-9) 839 3333
Fax: (599-9) 868 9924

This report is for informational purposes and contains only information released by the Government of Netherlands Antilles.

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