Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary ERA21LA357

Toughkenamon, PA, USA

Aircraft #1




The pilot performed a straight in approach to runway 24 and then entered an out-of-ground-effect hover at 30 to 40 ft above ground level. He made a right turn to hover taxi to the fueling area. At that time, he noticed that the rotor rpm was low, and he attempted to increase it; however, the helicopter spun right, descended and impacted a grass area near a taxiway. The recorded wind at the airport about the time of the accident was variable at 4 knots, gusting to 10 knots. The pilot reported 10 to 12 knot gusts from the east at the time of the accident and previous and subsequent weather recordings indicated wind gusts from the south. Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to the lower right fuselage. The examination did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions, nor did the pilot report any. It is likely that the helicopter was in an out-of-ground effect hover with a direct or quartering tailwind, which resulted in a loss of tail rotor effectiveness.

Probable Cause and Findings

The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the helicopter during an out-of-ground effect hover in a gusty wind, due to loss of tail rotor effectiveness.


Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

Get all the details on your iPhone or iPad with:

Aviation Accidents App

In-Depth Access to Aviation Accident Reports