NTSB Identification: FTW04TA075.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, February 18, 2004 in Decatur, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/02/2004
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N16MV
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

During lift off from soft uneven terrain, the rear portion of the helicopter's right main skid came in contact with the ground resulting in a dynamic rollover. The pilot reported that the terrain he departed from was "clumpy and lumpy with ruts of grass approximately 1 to 2 feet in height." As he started to lift the helicopter off the ground, he made a slow ascent rate. When the skids were about 1 foot above the ground, he said, "the helicopter stopped for a split second as if something had caught some portion of the right side of the helicopter and the helicopter began a slight lateral roll to the right." The pilot further reported that he recognized the problem too late as he applied full left cyclic and lowered the collective after the helicopter exceeded the critical angle of bank into the low skid to a point where the situation was unrecoverable, and it rolled 90 degrees to the right. No mechanical deficiencies with the engine or airframe were noted. The Rotorcraft Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-21), page11-7, described dynamic rollover as, "the pivoting around a skid or landing gear wheel of a helicopter causing it to reach its critical rollover angle. Beyond this point, main rotor thrust continues the roll and recovery is impossible."

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter during liftoff after encountering dynamic rollover. A contributing factor was the rough and uneven terrain.

Full narrative available

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