NTSB Identification: IAD00LA039.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 06, 2000 in MCMURRAY, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2001
Aircraft: Rotorway ROTORWAY 162F EXEC, registration: N162RS
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot hovered the helicopter out of ground effect about 200-300 feet above ground level. While in the hover, the helicopter began a slow turn to the left even with full right anti-torque pedal applied. The pilot was not aware of his rotor RPM or heading when the helicopter began to turn. He attempted to recover by lowering the collective, but continued to lose altitude. The pilot landed on a sloped hillside and the helicopter rolled over on to its right side. On scene examination of the helicopter revealed no mechanical deficiencies. Review of the flight manual's height velocity envelope revealed that the pilot operated in an area where out of ground effect hovers should have been avoided.

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

The pilot's improper in-flight planning and decision to hover out of ground effect which resulted in a loss of tail rotor effectiveness.

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