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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN18LA314
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 03, 2018 in Mullen, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/19/2019
Aircraft: AIRBUS EC 130 T2, registration: N130TG
Injuries: 1 Serious, 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 private pilot reported that he was approaching a golf course to survey a potential landing area when, during a left turn, the helicopter experienced a loss of tail rotor effectiveness. He stated that he added right pedal and eventually full right pedal to counter the rotation without success. The helicopter impacted the ground, which resulted in substantial damage to the main rotor and fuselage. Parametric data recovered from an onboard recorder showed that the left turn tightened in radius and that both the groundspeed and airspeed decreased during the turn. The left yaw rate increased rapidly as the helicopter entered the downwind portion of the turn. The cockpit image recorder captured the pilot applying a slight right pedal input during the onset of the left yaw, followed by his improper left pedal input that remained until ground impact. There was no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation. The left yaw would likely have been arrested had the pilot applied adequate and correct antitorque pedal when the yaw first started.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s inadequate and incorrect antitorque pedal application during a tight, decelerating turn downwind, which resulted in a loss of yaw control.