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N365WM accident description

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Crash location 41.832500°N, 85.668334°W
Nearest city Constantine, MI
41.847271°N, 85.699437°W
1.9 miles away
Tail number N365WM
Accident date 25 May 2014
Aircraft type Aerospatiale As 365 N2 Dauphin
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The pilot reported that he positioned the helicopter to land on a westerly heading with the light and variable wind from the west. About 200 feet above the ground he noticed that the helicopter was descending so he increased the collective to arrest the rate of descent. The torque gage was increasing from 50% to 60%. He lowered the collective in attempt to get into clean air and then pulled back on the cyclic to arrest the forward airspeed. The helicopter continued to descend quickly so the pilot attempted to control the helicopter to the ground, maintain an upright attitude, and avoid obstacles. The helicopter landed hard and bounced once before it came to rest in the parking lot. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation. A video of the accident sequence was reviewed. The video captured the helicopter as it approached the landing zone, made a right descending turn and then hover taxied over the landing zone. As the helicopter continued to descend, the rate of descent increased. The helicopter continued to the ground where it landed hard and bounced one time. It came to rest upright in the parking lot. The video did not reveal any anomalies with the helicopter or engine sounds. A postaccident examination revealed substantial damage to the right fuselage and lower right vertical stabilizer.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's loss of control while entering a vortex ring state (settling with power) condition, which resulted in a hard landing.

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