Witnesses: Helicopter Tail Boom Separated

By Staff Writer | June 15, 2010
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NTSB has released a preliminary report that notes “several witnesses saw the tail boom and the main rotor system separate” from a CareFlite-operated Bell 222U that crashed June 2 near Midlothian, Texas, killing the pilot and a mechanic. The helicopter, which had taken off from Grand Prairie Municipal Airport (GPM) on a routine maintenance flight, was around 600 feet agl when the in-flight incident occurred. The report notes that the main tail rotor came unattached “just below the head.” Investigators found the main rotor system—including hub and blade assembly, pitch change links and walking beam assembly—still attached to the swash plate assembly around 200 feet northeast of the main crash site, while “the entire tail boom assembly separated just aft of the fuselage and [ended up] 400 feet northeast of the main wreckage,” NTSB states.
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