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N64JM accident description

New Jersey map... New Jersey list
Crash location 40.066667°N, 74.177778°W
Nearest city Lakewood, NJ
40.075116°N, 74.199587°W
1.3 miles away
Tail number N64JM
Accident date 04 Jul 2011
Aircraft type Robinson Helicopter R44
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

**This report was modified on 2/1/2012. For a copy of the original report, please see the public docket for this accident.**

On July 4, 2011, about 1630 eastern daylight time, a Robinson Helicopter Company R44, N64JM, registered to 64JM LLC, landed hard during a hovering autorotation at Lakewood Airport (N12), Lakewood, New Jersey. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 positioning flight from N12 to Monmouth Executive Airport (BLM), Belmar/Farmingdale, New Jersey. The helicopter sustained substantial damage, and the certificated commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to reposition the helicopter to BLM. While facing southeast with the wind from the southwest at 3 knots, as soon as he lifted to a hover and began to move forward, he lost complete anti-torque control. The helicopter began to spin to the right, and he applied full left pedal input but the spin continued. He maneuvered the helicopter away from nearby aircraft and into a clear area where he executed a hovering autorotation. Upon touchdown, the skids spread and the occupants exited the helicopter.

Postaccident inspection of the helicopter by a Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness inspector revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction of the tail rotor drive system components.

The Rotorcraft Flying Handbook indicates that unanticipated yaw/loss of tail rotor effectiveness (LTE) is the occurrence of an uncommanded yaw rate that does not subside of its own accord and, which, if not corrected, can result in the loss of helicopter control.

LTE that is not attributed to equipment or maintenance malfunction may occur in all single-rotor helicopters at airspeeds less than 30 knots. It is the result of the tail rotor not providing adequate thrust to maintain directional control, and is usually caused by either certain wind azimuths (directions) while hovering, or by an insufficient tail rotor thrust for a given power setting at higher altitudes.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s inadequate yaw control of the helicopter while hovering.

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