NTSB Identification: LAX05LA039.
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Accident occurred Monday, November 22, 2004 in Rialto, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/28/2006
Aircraft: Schweizer 269C, registration: N45012
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 helicopter collided with terrain during a pinnacle departure attempt. After departing, the pilot configured the helicopter into a hover about 3 feet above ground level (agl) and verified that the cockpit gauges were all displaying the appropriate indications. In an attempt to depart the area, he said he "began to trade altitude for airspeed" while maneuvering in a right turn, toward his planned escape route consisting of downsloping terrain. While in the turn, the rotor rpm became low and he manipulated the throttle control for full power, simultaneously lowering the collective. Despite his attempts, the rotor rpm failed to increase and the helicopter continued to descend. In an effort to cushion the impact, he raised the collective just before the skids contacted terrain. The helicopter rolled downhill, coming to rest on its left side. The engine manufacturer performed an engine test run; there were no discrepancies or anomalies that would indicate the engine was not capable of running and producing power prior to the mishap.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain adequate rotor rpm and altitude/clearance during the takeoff initial climb.

Full narrative available

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