NTSB Identification: IAD05CA027.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 30, 2004 in Pedricktown, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2005
Aircraft: Enstrom 280C, registration: N175BM
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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.

During his first solo flight in the accident helicopter, the pilot made adjustments to the cyclic and collective controls during the takeoff. When his attention was diverted, the engine and rotor rpm decayed below the "green zone", and he subsequently elected to perform an autorotation to a field. He did not perform a landing flare and the helicopter landed hard, bounced, and then rolled onto its side. He reported no mechanical abnormalities with the helicopter and stated that the accident was "a result of pilot error."

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter during the takeoff and his failure to flare during the autorotation.

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