NTSB Identification: ATL00LA059.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 05, 2000 in INDIANTOWN, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/2001
Aircraft: Robinson R22 BETA, registration: N337VH
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

The student pilot planned a cross-country flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Pahokee, Florida, then to Stuart, Florida, with a final destination of Ft. Lauderdale. However, according to the Martin County Sheriff's Department, the pilot diverted to the Martin County Treatment Center in Indiantown, Florida. While hovering over the facility's recreation yard, he picked up a passenger who was an inmate at the center. During initial climb following takeoff, the helicopter struck a tree, then collided with the ground in a citrus grove 100 yards from the facility's perimeter.

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

The student pilot's failure to maintain altitude clearance during initial climb following takeoff during the commission of a crime, resulting in an in-flight collision with a tree.

Full narrative available

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