NTSB Identification: DFW06CA066.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 04, 2006 in Rayville, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2006
Aircraft: Robinson R44, registration: N744MD
Injuries: 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 673-hour private pilot, who reported having accumulated 120 hours in the same make and model helicopter reported that while departing on his third flight of the day, into the wind, when approximately 40-feet above ground level (AGL) the helicopter suddenly "veered" to the right. As the pilot responded by applying full left anti-torque pedal, the low rotor RPM warning horn sounded. The pilot then lowered the collective control and applied aft cyclic control. With the helicopter quickly settling, the pilot pulled-up on the collective control; however, he was not able to arrest the high rate of descent. The helicopter landed hard and managed to remain in the upright position. The pilot and two passengers were uninjured. The pilot reported that at the time of the accident, the temperature was 60 degrees Fahrenheit and the winds were from 300 degrees at 10 knots.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain rotor RPM, which resulted in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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