NTSB Identification: LAX97LA178.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 11, 1997 in SANTA MARGARITA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/1998
Aircraft: Robinson R-22, registration: N83795
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 density altitude was approximately 4,000 feet when the helicopter took off and departed the area. A witness reported that, moments later, the helicopter made a high speed flyby in the opposite direction at 2 or 3 feet above ground level after which the pilot made a climbing, steep turn at a near vertical bank angle. The helicopter then descended in the banked attitude until it impacted the terrain. The pilot reported that he recalled hearing the low rotor rpm warning horn before impact and that there were no mechanical malfunctions with the aircraft.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain adequate rotor rpm during a low pass maneuvering flight resulting in loss of control. High density altitude was a factor in the accident.

Full narrative available

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