NTSB Identification: IAD97LA015.
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Accident occurred Monday, November 04, 1996 in UNION VALE, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1998
Aircraft: Ayres SCORPION EXECUTIVE, registration: N3903C
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 student pilot (SP) was hover taxiing his helicopter. The SP said that during a subsequent climb to 300 feet, the helicopter felt 'heavy and anemic.' He also said '... the helicopter was exhibiting flight characteristics I didn't like....' The helicopter traveled past the taxiway end, and the SP decided to do a circuit in the pattern. He said when he attempted a left turn, the helicopter started to lose altitude. He also stated that flight control problems required him to performed an emergency landing. During the emergency landing, the helicopter impacted a chain link fence, and the main rotor blade struck a cherry picker (vehicular equipment). Examination of the helicopter revealed no preimpact abnormalities with the engine or flight controls. The SP did not have a solo endorsement for the flight. His reported total flight experience in helicopters was 41 hours, of which, 1 hour was in this make and model of helicopter.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter, which resulted in a subsequent emergency landing and collision with a fence and a cherry picker (vehicle). A factor relating to the accident was: the student pilot's lack of experience in the type helicopter.

Full narrative available

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