NTSB Identification: ATL07LA063.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 29, 2007 in Foley, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: Randy Stanley Rotoway Exc 162F, registration: N494D
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the certified flight instructor (CFI), the purpose of the flight was for the student to practice approaches and departures. They used a parallel taxiway for takeoff. The student pilot was at the controls and began a normal takeoff. When they were about 250 feet above ground level (agl) on initial climb out the engine started backfiring and the helicopter began yawing left and right. The CFI immediately took the controls as the engine RPM started to decay. He entered an autorotation and reduced the engine RPM to reduce the yawing from the engine backfiring. At about 40 feet agl he flared the helicopter to stop the descent and slow the forward airspeed. He leveled the helicopter and they settled to the surface and were sliding forward when the front skids snagged the grass and the helicopter nosed over coming to rest on the right side. The CFI and student pilot escaped without injury. Examination of the helicopter by an FAA Inspector, found the helicopter resting on its right side with substantial damage to the main rotor blades, windscreen and the tail boom. Further examination of the engine found the engines No. 4 exhaust valve stuck in the valve guide with the rocker arm out of position.

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

Loss of engine power due to failure of the No. 4 engine exhaust valve.

Full narrative available

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