NTSB Identification: ATL02LA042.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 19, 2002 in St. Petersburg, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/2003
Aircraft: Louis Edmondson 162F, registration: N162LE
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.
This was the second attempted liftoff after a previous unsuccessful attempt and subsequent shutdown and check of the helicopter's drive belts. The pilot noticed the helicopter again required "a lot of power." At 10 to 15 feet above the ground, the main rotor rpm dropped. The pilot increased engine power, but the rotor rpm continued to decay. The pilot aborted the takeoff, and the helicopter touched down hard on the right skid. Examination of the helicopter revealed damage to the right front skid, damage to the main rotor system, and separation of the tail boom assembly. The density altitude was estimated to have been 1140 feet at the approximate departure time. The helicopter gross weight is 1500 pounds and the useful load was 425 pounds. Examination of the helicopter revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunction.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's decision to continue flight with demonstrated inadequate takeoff performance capability, which resulted in an in-flight loss of control and subsequent hard landing. Full narrative available
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