NTSB Identification: NYC03LA069.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 23, 2003 in Princetown, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/30/2003
Aircraft: Bell 47D, registration: N74120
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 instructor had the student conduct approximately 18 takeoff and landings. Each was executed to and from a hover, and the student had difficulty maintaining rotor RPM during the maneuvers. The helicopter then departed, and flew to a private heliport. The student completed an "approach to the ground," and the instructor asked him to practice hover taxiing, before terminating the flight. As the student started to apply collective, the instructor looked inside to check rotor RPM. When he looked back outside, the helicopter was in a nose high, right side low attitude. The instructor lowered the collective and applied full left cyclic, but the roll to the right continued. The main-rotor blades impacted the ground, and the helicopter came to rest. The instructor added that during all the flights and accident sequence, he did not experience any mechanical problems with the helicopter. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the rear of the right skid was in an area of mud.

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

The student's failure to maintain control while executing a takeoff to a hover, and the flight instructor's delayed remedial action. A factor in the accident was the muddy ground.

Full narrative available

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