NTSB Identification: LAX05CA095.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 14, 2005 in Lake Arrowhead, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Robinson R44, registration: N44NG
Injuries: 1 Minor,3 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 helicopter experienced a dynamic rollover and impacted terrain during an attempted takeoff from uneven terrain. The certified flight instructor (CFI) was demonstrating a pinnacle approach when the helicopter experienced a vortex ring state condition. After landing hard on uneven terrain, the CFI found that the right skid was on a 12-inch diameter rock and he attempted to lift the helicopter and set it on level ground. The left landing skid caught the ground, and the helicopter rolled onto its left side. Once outside the helicopter, the CFI reported that the winds shifted 180 degrees several times. He felt that this contributed to his encountering the vortex ring state, and the dynamic rollover. The CFI stated that the airplane had no mechanical failures or malfunctions during the flight.

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

the certified flight instructor's failure to adequately compensate for wind conditions and his selection of terrain unsuitable for a safe takeoff which resulted in a dynamic rollover.

Full narrative available

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