NTSB Identification: MIA05FA055.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 05, 2005 in Bonifay, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2006
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N35BA
Injuries: 1 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.

A witness, the pilot's wife, who was watching the takeoff stated that the helicopter had been parked overnight and immediately prior to departure her husband used the garden hose and washed the windscreen with water. He then embarked the helicopter, started the engine, lifted into a hover, taxied, and initiated a normal takeoff. She said she watched the takeoff, and at an altitude of about 75 to 100 feet the helicopter assumed a slight nose low descending attitude and suddenly impacted the ground. She said that the helicopter descended impacting hard on its skids, but mainly on the right skid, and it fell over on the right side, momentarily rolled inverted, and then rolled back on the right side. She said that the helicopter had been operating normally, and she did not hear any unusual noises, or observe any erratic movement associated with the helicopter, and that all she saw initially prior to the impact was a gradual nose low right side low, but faster than normal descent. She said it was not the usual gentle movements she had become used to observing her husband perform countless times before when landing or taking off in the helicopter. A second witness, said that he was standing at the edge of the driveway when the helicopter was about 100 feet in the air, and he heard a loud "pop" noise, saw a momentary blaze of fire, and then the helicopter nosed over, and descended impacting the ground upside down. Postcrash examination of the helicopter and its systems did not reveal any preaccident anomalies.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain a climb after takeoff and his continued descent which resulted in an in-flight collision with the ground. A factor in the accident was the dark night.

Full narrative available

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