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N46R accident description

Michigan map... Michigan list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Grand Haven, MI
43.063073°N, 86.228386°W
Tail number N46R
Accident date 27 Sep 2001
Aircraft type Bell 47G-2
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On September 27, 2001, at 0815 eastern daylight time, a Bell 47G-2, N46R, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged on impact with terrain during a practice hover near Grand Haven, Michigan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot received minor injuries. The local flight originated at 0745.

The pilot reported the following in a written statement, "I finished a traffic pattern, which went smoothly. I was using the runway designated 03-27. I had been practicing hover maneuvers and traffic patterns for [approximately] 35 [minutes] prior to the accident. I came to a hover at [approximately] 3-5 [feet] AGL and applied left cyclic to exit the runway onto the grassy area on the [southwest] region of the airport. The time was [approximately] 0800. The wind was variable at 5-7 [knots] and no gusts. The wind direction was out of the north and east. As I applied cyclic, I also applied slight left pedal to place the tail into the wind. The aircraft was moving slowly and level, still maintaining an altitude of 3-5 [feet] AGL. Approximately 75-100 feet to the south of runway 03-27, I slowed the aircraft more and applied right pedal and right cyclic to bring the aircraft around and into the wind. I did not notice a decay of engine/rotor RPM and the sound of the engine was normal. At [approximately] 1/4 of the way into the right pedal turn, facing west, I felt an exaggerated swing of the tail to the right. This was precipitated by a slight shudder. I immediately applied left pedal and increased the throttle for fear that I had inadvertently allowed the engine RPM to decay. This was to no avail though, as the aircraft continued to swing to the right and increase in velocity. I then heard the engine over-rev. I immediately rolled the throttle off. The aircraft, which made [approximately] 1 and 1/2 turns to the right, stopped spinning and began to drift backward and roll to the left. I made an attempt to level the skids with the ground applying forward right cyclic. It was too late, though, and the tail rotor struck the ground, followed by the left skid which immediately folded under the aircraft causing a dynamic roll to the left. This caused the main rotor to strike the ground. There was tremendous shaking and the fiberglass canopy shattered. The aircraft settled with a list to the left and the main rotor blades, still attached, perpendicular to the fuselage. I then heard the engine revving and quickly turned the magnetos to the 'off' position. The engine immediately stopped. I did not smell fuel or oil and there was no fire."

Inspection of the wreckage by the Federal Aviation Administration revealed no mechanical anomalies.

NTSB Probable Cause

Aircraft control not maintained by the pilot.

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