NTSB Identification: MIA05CA006.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 16, 2004 in Diamond Head, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2004
Aircraft: Schweizer 269C, registration: N119DM
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 pilot stated that a few minutes after departure, he performed a precautionary off airport landing in cleared area in marsh section next to the bay, to correct a sticking floor push-to-talk microphone switch. The helicopter was shut down and pilot corrected the sticking microphone switch. The helicopter was started and as it took off to a hover it spun to the right. The pilot managed to land the helicopter in the marsh area. He shut down the helicopter; however, the grass caught fire from the heat of the engine exhaust system. The fire quickly spread, consuming the helicopter and a section of the marsh area before the fire department arrived to extinguish the fire.

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

The pilot's inadvertent loss of tail rotor effectiveness during takeoff to a hover and aborted landing in a grass area resulting in the grass catching fire from the engine exhaust and the helicopter being consumed by fire.

Full narrative available

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