NTSB Identification: ATL05CA089.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Thursday, May 26, 2005 in Cornelia, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/2006
Aircraft: Hughes TH-55, registration: N681BC
Injuries: 2 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.

According to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was to film the construction of a local building. The helicopter was brought to a hover between 15-20 feet off of the ground in the parking lot of the building. The helicopter was air taxied to a grass field approximately 100 feet away. As the pilot began his takeoff run he approached a row of trees that were approximately 50 feet tall and was unable to gain altitude. He initiated a quick stop maneuver, and the tail rotor became entangled in high vegetation. The helicopter began to spin to the right, and collided with the ground and rolled over onto the left side. Examination of the helicopter revealed, that the tail boom separated from the fuselage, all main rotor blades were bent and damaged. The left skid was broken and loose. Review of the FAA rotorcraft flying handbook states: Rapid Deceleration (Quick Stop) should be conducted at an altitude high enough to avoid danger to the tail rotor during flare, but low enough to stay out of the crosshatched or shaded areas of the height/ velocity diagram throughout the maneuver. Review of the FAA rotorcraft flying handbook states: Rapid Deceleration (Quick Stop) should be conducted at an altitude high enough to avoid danger to the tail rotor during flare.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate object clearance, which resulted in the in-flight collision with terrain, and the subsequent rollover.

Full narrative available

Index for May2005 | Index of months