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N326AC accident description

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Crash location 39.173056°N, 76.690277°W
Nearest city Baltimore, MD
39.290385°N, 76.612189°W
9.1 miles away
Tail number N326AC
Accident date 16 Apr 2016
Aircraft type Bell 206
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The helicopter began the power line aerial observation flight near its maximum gross weight. As the pilot maneuvered the helicopter into an out-of-ground-effect hover with a 12-knot left crosswind, a nose-right yaw ensued that could not be corrected with a full left pedal application. Despite other remedial actions taken by the pilot, the helicopter descended to ground contact where the occupants egressed, but the helicopter was later destroyed by post-crash fire. The pilot stated there were no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. He said, "It was an aerodynamic issue, not a mechanical issue."

FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 90-95, Unanticipated Right Yaw in Helicopters stated, "Any maneuver which requires the pilot to operate in a high-power, low-airspeed environment with a left crosswind or tailwind creates an environment where unanticipated right yaw may occur."

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's inadequate compensation for the wind while hovering out of ground effect, which resulted in a loss of tail rotor effectiveness.

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