NTSB Identification: FTW03LA105.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Thursday, March 06, 2003 in Alpine, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2003
Aircraft: Aerospatiale SA341G, registration: N16KH
Injuries: 4 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 pilot flew the helicopter to a mountain top and landed at an elevation of 5,000 feet msl. After a short time, the passengers and pilot reboarded the helicopter for the return flight. The pilot reported that during takeoff, as the helicopter entered translational lift, it encountered a gust of wind from the rear. Subsequently, the helicopter entered an uncontrolled descent and impacted terrain. The helicopter came to rest in a shallow creek.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain translational lift, which resulted in an uncontrolled descent of the helicopter during takeoff. A contributing factor was the gusty tailwind condition.

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