NTSB Identification: FTW02LA197.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 28, 2002 in Houston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/30/2003
Aircraft: Robinson R44, registration: N144WT
Injuries: 1 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.

The pilot "lifted" the helicopter vertically to a 4-5 foot hover and proceeded to make a 10 degree left pedal turn. The pilot applied forward pressure on the cyclic to initiate forward flight and in a "matter of 10'-15', the rear portion of the left skid went down abruptly." The pilot immediately added forward right cyclic to compensate for this action. The helicopter started to level at an altitude of approximately 2-3 feet when it settled "hard" on the front portion of the left skid. The helicopter came to rest upright on its landing skids. A broken tie down chain was found that had been attached to the aft portion of the helicopter skid. The pilot reported that he did not attach the tie down chain to the helicopter.

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

The pilot's loss of control after encountering dynamic rollover during takeoff. A contributing factor was the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection.

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