NTSB Identification: DFW06FA102.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 13, 2006 in Fredericksburg, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/2007
Aircraft: Robinson R44 II, registration: N123CK
Injuries: 2 Fatal,2 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The 430-hour commercial helicopter pilot collided with unmarked power lines while attempting to depart the uncontrolled airport on an easterly heading from the airport's parking apron. The pilot lost control of the helicopter following the collision with the power lines and the helicopter impacted the ground. A post impact fire consumed most of the helicopter. Several witnesses observed the accident and provided written statements. The uncontrolled airport features a single runway aligned 140/320 degrees, and Unicom services are available. Eye-witnesses reported that the pilot did not hover-taxi the helicopter from the parking apron onto the parallel taxiway to the runway, but instead departed the apron area on an easterly direction between two ramp light fixtures that were 35 feet tall and 150 feet apart. The 32-foot high power lines impacted by the helicopter were located outside the airport perimeter and were 220 feet from the airport parking apron. The wind at the time of the mishap was reported from 190 degrees at 10 knots, with VMC weather conditions; however, the accident occurred during the early evening at 1840. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any anomalies. Maintenance records for the helicopter that were provided did not reveal any discrepancies. The flight logbook for the pilot was not made available to the NTSB during the course of the investigation.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with the power lines. Contributing factors were the dusk light condition and the pilot's non-compliance with standard taxi and takeoff procedures.

Full narrative available

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