NTSB Identification: ANC96FA099.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 15, 1996 in ANCHORAGE, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1997
Aircraft: Rotorway EXEC 90, registration: N9297H
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot had purchased a completed but disassembled helicopter kit from another builder. There was no information in the airplane's records to show that a construction log or inspection log was kept. Training records from the kit supplier show that the pilot had received 7.5 hours of training in the helicopter at the factory school. A video tape of the helicopter just prior to the accident shows the pilot using large cyclic inputs to maintain control during hovering practice. The helicopter is also filmed doing touch-and-go landings. The operating limitation issued by the FAA did not authorize touch-and-go landings at Merrill Field. While the helicopter is on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the video tape shows that the nose pitches up and the helicopter rolls to the right slightly. It remains in that position for approximately 1 second. The nose pitches down and the helicopter rolls to the left and descends to the ground out of control. The helicopter blades found installed on the helicopter did not meet service bulletin criteria; the pilot had purchased a complete set of mandatory service bulletins.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's excessive control inputs and the lack of familiarity with the helicopter. A factor associated with the accident was the pilot's failure to follow the prescribed operating limitations.

Full narrative available

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