NTSB Identification: LAX06LA247.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 28, 2006 in Flagstaff, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2007
Aircraft: Robinson R44, registration: N74780
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 helicopter collided with trees and rolled over during an emergency landing. About 9 nautical miles south of the departure airport, the pilot encountered a lowering layer of overcast clouds, and was unable to maintain level flight. He performed an autorotation into a clearing from about 100 feet above ground level. The helicopter touched down on a slight incline. The tips of the rotor blades struck the ground and a tree, causing the helicopter to roll over onto its right side. The departing airport Automated Surface Observing System reported that the sky condition at takeoff was 800 feet overcast. Mountainous terrain surrounded the airport.

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

the pilot's inadequate preflight planning decision to take off under a low ceiling into an area of mountainous terrain that resulted in an encounter with lowering clouds and forced the pilot to land in unfavorable terrain.

Full narrative available

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