On May 2, 2017, about 0635 central daylight time, a Bell 407 made a precautionary landing at Grand Bay receiving station in the Gulf of Mexico, near Boothville, Louisiana, after the pilot noticed a vibration in-flight. VMC prevailed at the time of the accident.The non-scheduled domestic passenger flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 135, and a company VFR flight plan had been filed and activated. The pilot and four passengers on board the helicopter were not injured.The cross-country flight originated from Boothville (LS08), Louisiana, at 0629, and was en route to Main Pass 311A in the Gulf of Mexico when the accident occurred.
The pilot had noticed a vibration in-flight and landed the helicopter on the oil platform. As he was shutting down the engine, the vibration worsened and he completed the shutdown using the rotor brake. Post-accident inspection revealed a tip cap had separated from one of the tail rotor blades, and cracks were noted on the tail rotor gear box, mounting hardware, and tail boom, all considered to be substantial damage.