NTSB Identification: LAX00LA118.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 08, 2000 in CALIPATRIA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/06/2002
Aircraft: Arrow Aircraft Co. OH-58A, registration: N39FA
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 helicopter took off to the south and began a climb. Upon reaching about 60 feet above the ground, the helicopter lost power. At this time the helicopter was approaching power lines and the pilot used cyclic to climb over them. After clearing the wires, the pilot attempted an autorotative landing but there was insufficient main rotor speed to cushion the landing. The helicopter impacted the ground and the main rotor flexed severing the tail boom.

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

The pilot's inadequate checklist procedure prior to departure, which did not verify the fuel selector was in the proper position for flight, and the pilot's failure to maintain adequate main rotor speed for an autorotative landing.

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