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N311RM accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Minneapolis, MN
44.979965°N, 93.263836°W
Tail number N311RM
Accident date 16 May 2001
Aircraft type Parker Rotorway 162F
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On May 16, 2001, at 1110 central daylight time, a Parker Rotorway 162F helicopter, N311RM, operated by a student pilot, sustained substantial damage when it impacted into a field 15 miles northwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an emergency landing. Prior to the emergency landing attempt, the helicopter experienced a tail rotor malfunction. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. There was no flight plan on file. The student pilot operating the helicopter reported no injuries. The local flight originated from the pilot's residence at Rogers, Minnesota, at 1045.

In his written statement, the student pilot said that he was returning to Rogers, Minnesota, when he heard a "pop" and then the helicopter yawed left. The student pilot said that he lost pedal control and entered a turning autorotation. He said that at approximately 35 feet above the ground, he introduced some aft cyclic in an attempt to perform a run on landing. He said that the helicopter "spun violently to [the] right". The student pilot said he added full left [control pedal] and down cyclic. The helicopter dropped to the ground.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the helicopter at the student pilot's residence. The inspector observed that both skids were collapsed, the tail boom was bent upward, the bottom vertical stabilizer was crushed upward, and the tail rotor was bent aft. Control continuity was confirmed. An examination of the helicopter's belt drive system revealed that the lower shaft bearing in the secondary drive unit to the tail rotor was loose and the tail rotor drive belt had come off.

NTSB Probable Cause

The tail rotor drive belt coming off in cruise flight and it not being possible for the student pilot to maintain aircraft control during the emergency landing attempt. Factors relating to the accident were the loose bearing in the secondary drive unit to the tail rotor, the attempted autorotation and run on landing by the student pilot, and the low altitude.

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