NTSB Identification: DEN04CA058.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 08, 2004 in Watkins, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2004
Aircraft: Eurocopter France EC 130 B4, registration: N151AC
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The instructor pilot reported that he was conducting a commercial checkride. He and the dual student, flying the helicopter, were in a hover approximately 4-5 feet above the ground and oriented on a 190-degree heading. While at that location, the helicopter began to yaw and drift to the left. The instructor pilot said he put in opposite pedal but the helicopter continued to yaw and drift to the left. The helicopter struck the ground, left skid low on a 30 to 45 degree down angle. The instructor said he took control of the helicopter and attempted to maintain a level attitude. The helicopter bounced and then struck nose low and rolled to the right. An examination of the helicopter systems revealed no anomalies. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector on the scene said conditions were very windy. He also said that when considering the wind conditions and the way the helicopter impacted the ground, the winds may have contributed to the accident. The wind conditions reported just before the accident were 190 degrees at 8 knots with gusts to 15 knots.

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

the dual student pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter. Factors contributing to the accident were inadequate supervision by the instructor pilot, the high wind, the gusts, and the crosswinds.

Full narrative available

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