NTSB Identification: SEA05CA083.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 17, 2005 in Whitefish, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Hughes 269A, registration: N7054C
Injuries: 1 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 student pilot reported that he had just purchased this helicopter and had accumulated a total flight time of four hours in this make and model. Total flight time in all aircraft was reported as 41 hours. The student pilot stated that he was practicing hovering and hovering turns into a 'sporadic" north wind. The student pilot reported that he made a turn to the south, and "while doing so a gust of wind spun me to the east (loss of tail rotor effectiveness)." The right skid contacted the surface and the helicopter tipped to the right side. The pilot reported no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter at the time of the accident.

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

The student pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter while hovering resulting in an in-flight collision with terrain. Gusting winds and the student pilot's inadequate compensation for the wind conditions were contributing factors.

Full narrative available

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