NTSB Identification: LAX03LA017.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 29, 2002 in Kaaawa, Oahu, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/28/2004
Aircraft: Hughes 369D, registration: N220AL
Injuries: 2 Serious,1 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 rolled over during an attempted takeoff from a sloping landing zone on a ridgeline composed of soft soil. The pilot's mission was to transport passengers to the remote landing site on top of a ridge. Upon arrival, the pilot performed a reconnaissance of the area and landed on a part of the ridge that sloped to the right. The pilot reported that the wind was strong and gusty, but was most directly on the nose of the helicopter. The pilot said he maintained full flight rotor rpm and completely lowered the collective pitch, then the helicopter settled right skid downslope. He noted that the ground was soft. One of the passengers, who was seated directly behind the pilot, disembarked, which left two passengers on the right side of the helicopter. Then the pilot applied collective pitch, and the helicopter began to roll right. The pilot decreased the collective and applied left cyclic, but this had no effect. The helicopter rolled over and slid down the steep incline. A search and rescue pilot who landed at the landing zone a short time after the accident reported that the wind speed was about 25 knots, and it was gusting to 30 knots.

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

Dynamic rollover during an attempted takeoff, due to the combined effects of the soft sloping terrain and the pilot's failure to redistribute the passengers to a more favorable lateral CG condition.

Full narrative available

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