Helicopter stunt ends with aircraft’s destruction

 - July 28, 2009, 10:33 AM

Bell 206A, Barnesville, Pa., Aug. 22, 2008–The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the helicopter during a low-speed, low-altitude maneuver resulted in the loss of tail-rotor effectiveness, the NTSB ruled. The helicopter was engaged in a stunt that involved the dropping of golf balls over a golf course when a witness observed that it was flying erratically with slight roll and fore and aft pitch oscillations. The helicopter then began a spin to the right while climbing and continuing forward before it crashed.

The 79-year-old pilot did not hold a current medical certificate, and logbooks found in the wreckage indicated that the pilot did not possess a current flight review; also, no annual inspection had been logged for the helicopter in the preceding year. The helicopter was destroyed in the accident while the pilot and a passenger suffered serious injuries.