NTSB Identification: FTW96LA378.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 06, 1996 in LOREAUVILLE, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/1997
Aircraft: Robinson R22 BETA, registration: N80750
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The weather was 'hot, very humid, with no wind,' and during the attempted takeoff from the transport trailer, the helicopter 'couldn't get any lift.' The helicopter descended and impacted the terrain separating the tailboom. The pilot did not calculate the weight and balance, nor determine the performance data for the existing conditions. The weight of the helicopter at the time of the accident was estimated at 1,384.8 pounds, and the density altitude was approximately 2,400 feet. The maximum gross weight of the helicopter was 1,370 pounds. According to the manufacturer's performance charts, with the helicopter at the above weight and density altitude, it was not capable of hovering out of ground effect.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning/preparation for the flight, resulting in exceeding the maximum gross weight and performance of the helicopter. A factor was the high density altitude.

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