NTSB Identification: FTW02LA104.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 27, 2002 in Fort Collins, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/26/2002
Aircraft: Hughes 269A-1, registration: N8942F
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On takeoff during the instructional flight, the wind was variable at 2 to 3 knots. As the student was hovering the helicopter at approximately 3 feet agl, a sudden gust of wind caused the helicopter to "wobble." The instructor took control of the aircraft, and another wind gust turned the helicopter downwind. The instructor attempted to land. However, the wind continued to drive the helicopter forward with an excessive nose low attitude. With the tail rotor into the wind, creating a "high power demand and limited tail rotor authority," the helicopter "skipped" along the dirt 2 or 3 times, the right strut failed, and the aircraft to rolled over on its right side. The flight instructor reported the wind was gusting to 60 knots. The reported wind at a location 8 miles south of the accident site was 260 degrees at 13 knots gusting to 25 knots.

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

the flight instructor's failure to maintain control of the helicopter while hovering. Contributing factors were the tailwind and gusty wind conditions.

Full narrative available

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