Main Rotor Mast And Transmission Were Able To Be Rotated Though By Hand

Location: Houma, LA Accident Number: CEN22FA100
Date & Time: January 14, 2022, 10:01 Local Registration: N167RL
Aircraft: Bell 407 Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi & commuter – Non-scheduled

On January 14, 2022, about 1001 central standard time, a Bell 407, N167RL, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Houma, Louisiana. The commercial pilot and a passenger sustained fatal injuries. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 on-demand flight.

ADS-B data showed that the accident flight was at an altitude of about 1,200 ft. mean sea level prior to descending.

A witness near the accident site stated that he saw the helicopter descend into terrain in a nosedown attitude and did not see any parts separate from the helicopter while airborne. The main rotor blades, main rotor drive system/transmission, engine, and tail boom with attached vertical and horizontal stabilizers, tail rotor gear box and tail rotor blades were located at the accident site.

The main rotor mast and transmission were able to be rotated though by hand without binding or noise. The tail rotor blades were rotated through by hand and the attached tail rotor drive shaft rotated without binding or noise. Chip detectors associated with the transmission, tail rotor, and engine did not exhibit ferrous debris. The wreckage was retained for further examination.