NTSB Identification: LAX97LA014.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 12, 1996 in MATHER, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/1997
Aircraft: Cunningham ROTORWAY EXEC, registration: N18WC
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 pilot of a home built helicopter was attempting to drop an object (bag of flour) to a target on the ground. Approaching the target area, the helicopter was observed to maneuver, then it went out of control and crashed. Investigation revealed evidence that the main rotor blades contacted and severed the tailboom. Also, there was evidence of mast bumping. The helicopter was equipped with composite main rotor blades; kit/factory approved blades were made of metal. No mechanical malfunction was found.

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

excessive maneuvering by the pilot, which allowed the main rotor blades to contact and sever the tail rotor system and allowed mast bumping to occur.

Full narrative available

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