NTSB Identification: NYC00LA044.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 27, 1999 in COUDERSPORT, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Bell 47G, registration: N940B
Injuries: 2 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 pilot with a passenger, landed the helicopter in a clearing that was about 40 feet wide, by 150 feet long, and surrounded by 'very tall trees.' The pilot said he made a normal run-up and lifted the helicopter to a hover. He used full throttle and maintained 3,100 RPM. When the helicopter started to accelerate forward, at about 12-15 knots, the RPM dropped to 3,000 and the pilot lowered collective to keep the RPM from dropping further. The helicopter's main rotor blades contacted a pine tree about 30 feet above the ground. The helicopter then rolled to the left and impacted the ground. The elevation at the accident site was about 1,800 feet Ms. The pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions with the helicopter's airframe or engine. After the accident, the pilot stated that the helicopter was with-in it's maximum gross weight; however, the helicopter did not have enough power available to climb and he should have never landed in the clearing.

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

The pilot's improper preflight planning and decision to attempt a takeoff with the passenger from the confined area.

Full narrative available

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