Eurocopter AS 350B2, Hiram, Ga., May 21, 2008–The NTSB attributed the buckling of the AS 350’s tail boom to failure of the starflex arm during engine run-up due to inadequate maintenance inspection. After the pilot started the engine at Caffery Heliport and advanced the power to flight rpm, the helicopter shook violently. The pilot conducted an emergency shutdown and discovered that the tail rotor boom was buckled and the main rotor starflex arm was broken. The director of maintenance said that the starflex arm had been overlooked during a conformity inspection and was overflown by 586 hours.
The helicopter was operated by Omniflight.