NTSB Identification: FTW98LA049.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 15, 1997 in LUBBOCK, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/31/1998
Aircraft: Robinson R22 BETA, registration: N26026
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 reported that he had established an out-of-ground-effect hover at 200 feet AGL. He further reported that, the 'wind turned the ship to the right abruptly,' to a westerly heading. To correct, he applied left pedal, 'but not enough' and the helicopter began 'to lose altitude and control,' so he released pressure on the left pedal, thinking he had compensated incorrectly. As the helicopter continued turning to the right, he began to apply left pedal. As the helicopter kept turning to the right, the pilot applied full left pedal. The descent continued, and the helicopter completed another 360 degree turn and contacted a fence. The pilot estimated the winds were from 010 degrees at 8 knots. No control system anomaly was found. Performance charts indicated that the helicopter was within it's flight envelope during the hover.

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

failure of the student pilot to maintain control of the helicopter during hover out-of-ground-effect. A related factor was: the student pilot's lack of experience in flying helicopters.

Full narrative available

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