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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: WPR15LA249
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 23, 2015 in Mesa, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/11/2016
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269C - UNDESIGNAT, registration: N315TV
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot reported that, after returning from a noneventful personal flight and during the approach for landing, he noticed erratic cyclic control movements. He attempted an emergency landing, but the cyclic continued to move erratically counter-clockwise, and the helicopter subsequently landed hard.
Postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed that a main rotor damper had disbonded, which would have resulted in the degradation of its damping capability and excessive main rotor vibrations and oscillations. This would have caused substantial damage in the main rotor mast supporting structure and aft cabin bulkhead before the landing and the erratic cyclic control movements reported by the pilot. Further examination of the helicopter and engine did not reveal any additional evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The disbondment of a main rotor damper, which resulted in the degradation of its damping action and led to excessive main rotor vibrations and oscillations that caused substantial damage to the helicopter in flight and led to a hard landing.