Factual Reports: Bell 206L damaged after engine failure

 - March 12, 2007, 9:21 AM

Bell 206L-1 LongRanger, Patterson, La., Dec. 9, 2004–Bell LongRanger N5007F was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power. The sole-occupant commercial pilot was not injured. The flight, on a VFR company flight plan, left an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico at 7:25 a.m. and was en route to Patterson.

After encountering reduced visibility, the pilot landed on an island to wait for better conditions. With slightly better visibility, he flew to another island and landed. He started and shut down the engine repeatedly over the next several hours.

About 12:30, he again started the engine and lifted off. At approximately 50 feet agl and at 20 to 40 knots, the engine lost power. The helicopter hit the ground at a high rate of descent, and the main rotor blade came into contact with the tail boom. The helicopter was owned and operated by Evergreen Helicopters of McMinnville, Ore.