NTSB Identification: NYC08FA026
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, November 05, 2007 in Jamestown, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/14/2009
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R44, registration: N8356C
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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 helicopter had performed two approaches to the creek bed earlier in the day. The creek bed was bordered by wooded, steep terrain on both sides, and a four-strand set of power lines crossed the creek perpendicular to the direction of travel. The wires and their proximity to the landing site in the creek were discussed with the pilot, both by passengers in the helicopter while in flight and with witnesses around the landing site. During the third takeoff from the creek bed, the helicopter climbed beneath the wires, and then reversed direction and collided with the lowest wire in the set. The helicopter then descended into the trees, collided with terrain, and caught fire. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any mechanical deficiencies. Examination of the rotorhead revealed a large diameter metal cable was coiled around the mast and swashplate, and wrapped over the rotorhead and blade grips.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from a known wire hazard during takeoff.

Full narrative available

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