NTSB Identification: FTW97LA079.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 07, 1997 in WELLINGTON, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Hughes 369HS, registration: N9089F
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 said the helicopter wanted to 'spin to the left.' He made a precautionary landing, monitored the engine instruments, and performed some 'hover checks.' Finding nothing amiss, the pilot took off and climbed to 6,000 feet. He said aircraft control 'became more difficult' and he elected to land in an open field. When collective was applied, the helicopter rolled left and impacted the terrain. Wreckage examination disclosed no evidence of pre-existing malfunction/failure. A helicopter flight instructor, who helped the pilot ferry the helicopter from Florida to Colorado one month before the accident, said the pilot 'had no idea what he was doing. He was far behind the aircraft.' The instructor said the pilot habitually pressed left pedal and either flew in complete circles or flew in a shallow left skid. Autorotation demonstrations were equally poor, and the instructor told the pilot he 'needed a lot of work.'

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the aircraft and his improper autorotation technique that induced the roll and subsequent ground collision. A factor was his lack of recurrent training.

Full narrative available

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