About 15 Minutes After Departure He Heard A “Binding Sound” And Felt A Reduction In Engine Power

Location: Zephyrhills, FL Accident Number: ERA21LA023
Date & Time: October 16, 2020, 15:15 Local Registration: N777CP
Aircraft: Bell 206 Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:

On October 16, 2020, about 1515 eastern daylight time, a Bell 206B, N777CP, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Zephyrhills, Florida. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, about 15 minutes after departure he heard a “binding sound” and felt a reduction in engine power and a slight nose left yaw. He checked his engine instruments and noted no illumination of annunciator lights or engine warnings. The low rotor rpm aural alarm then sounded, and he initiated an autorotation to a swamp.

The helicopter came to rest amongst pine trees and undergrowth. The tailboom was impact separated and the main rotors were fractured about midspan.

The helicopter was recovered for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov