Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
Sanford Health: http://registry.faa.gov/N903SH
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fargo FSDO-21
Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms
NTSB Identification: CEN16CA393
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 29, 2016 in Fargo, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: BELL 230, registration: N903SH
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported that he performed his approach into the wind. On short final he could feel periodic gusts of wind. The pilot executed the standard approach to the helipad and the helicopter encountered another gust that picked the helicopter's nose up as it was moving over the pad. He maneuvered the helicopter to center it over the pad when he heard a sound like "metal on metal as if the tail rotor had hit something a couple times." The pilot felt no initial feedback in the controls, he felt the helicopter yaw to the left, and the helicopter continued to yaw to the left with his full application of right pedal. He lowered the collective and rolled off the throttle to enter a hovering autorotation and attempted to land it as level as possible. The helicopter landed hard. The operator reported substantial ground damage occurred to the tail rotor gearbox and tail rotor blades and a review of images revealed damage to the tailboom. A nearby fence and light were reported to be damaged. The operator's accident report indicated that there were no mechanical malfunctions with the helicopter.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the ground obstacle during the landing with gusting winds present.