NTSB Identification: ATL04FA141.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 27, 2004 in Barnesville, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Robinson R44, registration: N441MG
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the mechanic of MG Aviation the purpose of the cross-country flight was to take the private pilot's wife to visit her grandmother in a hospital in Florida. The private pilot called his flight instructor to assist him on the cross-country flight. The mechanic stated that the flight instructor came to his residence to pick up his flight bag at 0200 shortly after returning from a concert. The mechanic asked if he needed any assistance in preparing for the flight to Florida, and the flight instructor replied that the private pilot prepared everything for the cross-country flight. That was the last conversation the mechanic had with the flight instructor. According to a witness a helicopter was heard flying over the residential area, and shortly afterward an explosion was heard. Witnesses searched the area, and a helicopter was located in the back of a residential home engulfed in flames. . Examination of the wreckage site revealed the helicopter rested approximately 25 yards behind a residential home. The wreckage path was approximately 35 feet in length on a northerly heading at the base of a tree. The tail boom section was broken, and buckled. The main rotor blades were buckled and separated from the main rotor mass. The tail rotor shaft was separated from the tail boom and lodge in a tree. The tail rotor gearbox was separated and the tail rotor blades were broken. First responders to the accident site reported dense fog conditions at the accident site. There was no record of the pilot receiving a weather briefing before the departure or while en route.

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

The certified flight instructor's in-flight decision to continue VFR flight into IMC, which resulted in spatial disorientation, and the subsequent in a loss of control. A factor was fog.

Full narrative available

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