The pilot had planned a routine flight from Dublin Airport to Falcarragh, Co. Donegal, where he was to pick up passengers and ferry them to Tory Island. En route, about 2 nm west of Slane village, the pilot felt a sudden increase in vibration and noise levels. He reduced power, but these vibration levels persisted. While he was satisfied that all systems were normal and the helicopter was fully controllable, he decided to carry out a precautionary landing in a field which was known to him.
The pilot's post-flight inspection showed that one tail rotor blade had serious impact damage to the stainless steel strip on the leading edge and that the tail unit anticollision light cover and its clamp were missing.