NTSB Identification: DEN07CA115.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 09, 2007 in Albuquerque, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/30/2007
Aircraft: Robinson R22 Beta, registration: N74536
Injuries: 1 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 student pilot, he was on a solo cross country flight. Prior to departure from a local airport, he refueled the helicopter with 15 gallons of fuel. After departure, the helicopter headed north, turned to the east, and then turned to a southerly direction. While in cruise flight at 6,800 feet mean sea level (msl), the student reported that the helicopter began losing altitude. In an attempt to recover the altitude, the student increased collective and reduced forward airspeed. At 1,000 feet above ground level and airspeed of 50 to 60 knots, the student further increased the collective and the helicopter "pitched, then turned rapidly to the right." The student partially lowered the collective and did not attempt to use the pedals to stop the turn as the helicopter continued to lose altitude. After the helicopter rotated approximately 160 degrees to the right, the helicopter "stopped or slowed turning." While heading in a northerly direction, the student then noticed a radio tower in front of the helicopter and applied right cyclic to avoid the tower. The student attempted to land the helicopter to a parking lot. During the attempted landing, the helicopter contacted power lines, impacted the parking lot, and came to rest on its left side. Examination of the helicopter revealed no anomalies with the airframe or engine. The calculated density altitude for the weather conditions at the time of the accident was approximately 9,600 feet.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during an encounter with the loss of tail rotor effectiveness. Contributing factors were the high density altitude and the power lines.

Full narrative available

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