NTSB Identification: IAD98LA014.
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Accident occurred Thursday, November 27, 1997 in BLUEFIELD, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/21/2000
Aircraft: Jones MINI 500, registration: N8015E
Injuries: 1 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.

On a local flight to 'balance and adjust the flight controls,' the pilot took off down wind and climbed to 50 feet agl. He stated that 'after passing through transitional lift, the rotor began to over speed, so I reduced the throttle.' As he approached the end of the runway, the pilot 'slowed the helicopter down and started a left turn to fly down the runway to check the head balance.' As the pilot started the turn, he stated that 'I increased the throttle to the maximum, however, the rotor rpm had begun to deteriorate and the throttle would not bring it back up.' With insufficient altitude to recover, the helicopter impacted the ground collapsing the left skid, and rolled onto its side damaging the main rotor, tail boom, tail rotor, and the cockpit. The pilot stated that he had thousands of hours in turbine engine powered helicopters, but, was not familiar with reciprocating engine powered helicopters. The pilot had accumulated less than 10 hours in this helicopter.

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

Pilot's unfamiliarity with reciprocating engine powered helicopter lead to a reduction in main rotor rpm and subsequent uncontrolled rate of descent with insufficient altitude to recover.

Full narrative available

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