NTSB Identification: CHI02LA008.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 19, 2001 in Jeffersonville, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/04/2002
Aircraft: Bell 47G-2, registration: N840WA
Injuries: 2 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.

The helicopter was damaged when it impacted the ground and burned while hovering. The helicopter was piloted by a certified flight instructor (CFI) and dual student. The student was the holder of a private pilot certificate with a helicopter rating. In a written report, the dual student said that he raised the helicopter up to a hover and rotated 90 degrees with the helicopter facing downwind. He said that the helicopter seemed somewhat unstable in the gusty tailwind. He said that the helicopter came up in the front and then he felt a vibration in the tail. He said that the helicopter turned and the left skid impacted the ground and the helicopter rolled onto its left side. In a written report, the CFI said that, after a rudder turn when the helicopter was facing downwind, the student, "...very abruptly pitched the nose up reacting to the wind behind him. The abrupt pitch attitude allowed the tail to strike the ground." The CFI said that the aircraft was uncontrollable at that point and ultimately rolled onto its left side. A weather reporting station located about 9 miles and 157 degrees from the accident site recorded the winds as 10 knots gusting to 18 knots from 230 degrees at 1553. No anomalies were found with respect to the helicopter and none were reported.

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

The dual student pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter, his failure to maintain altitude/clearance from the terrain, and the inadequate supervision by the flight instructor. A factor was the gusty wind condition.

Full narrative available

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