NTSB Identification: IAD05LA075.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 06, 2005 in Paintsville, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2006
Aircraft: Hughes TH-55, registration: N2KX
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 purpose of the flight was to perform a cyclic-rigging check, and a rotor-rpm check during autorotation. The pilot and a friend performed a preflight inspection, and neither noted any mechanical deficiencies. The pilot started the helicopter, and performed the run-up checks, to include the magneto check and the rotor-engagement check with the helicopter "light on the skids." The pilot then completed the before takeoff checks, and initiated a takeoff to a hover. As the pilot applied collective pitch and power for takeoff, he felt a few bumps. He was aware of the phenomena of ground resonance, and continued applying collective pitch and power, but the helicopter would not take off. Within seconds, he had no control of the helicopter, as it disintegrated around him. The friend's version of the events leading up to the accident was consistent with the pilot/owner's. According to the witness, "It happened so fast! It started to shake, a blade hit the tailboom, and it shook to pieces." He added that the helicopter never left the ground, and that it rocked side-to-side two or three times before it came apart.

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

the pilot's inadvertent encounter with ground resonance which resulted in destruction of the helicopter.

Full narrative available

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