NTSB Identification: ANC04LA024.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, February 18, 2004 in Daytona Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/03/2004
Aircraft: Robinson R44, registration: N323TC
Injuries: 3 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 airline transport certificated pilot was departing from the airport's heliport for a local area business flight. He said that gusty wind conditions prevailed during the accident takeoff, and that just after takeoff, while hover taxiing to the active runway, a strong gust of wind from the right pushed the helicopter to the left, and over an area of grass-covered terrain. The helicopter subsequently descended, the left skid contacted an area of grass-covered terrain, and the helicopter began to roll to the left. As the roll continued, the main rotor blades contacted terrain, and the helicopter rolled onto its left side. The helicopter sustained structural damage to the tail boom, fuselage, and to the main rotor and tail rotor drive systems. The pilot noted that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the helicopter.

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

The pilot's inadequate compensation for wind conditions while hover taxiing, which resulted in a loss of control and subsequent in-flight collision with terrain and a rollover of the helicopter. A factor associated with the accident was a gusty wind condition.

Full narrative available

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