NTSB Identification: MIA08FA044.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 22, 2008 in Ochopee, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2008
Aircraft: Robinson R44, registration: N18HB
Injuries: 2 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.

A witness stated he observed the helicopter at a hover above the grass; north and parallel to the taxiway, short of the runway 27 hold line. The helicopter went up very fast to an altitude of about 200 feet and made a right turn above runway 27, into a tailwind, in a nose down attitude. The tail of the helicopter turned 45 degrees to the left side of the runway. The helicopter made a roll to the left and became inverted. The rotor blades stopped and the helicopter continued the roll to the left until it became right side up, and descended in a nose down, left turn colliding with the ground. The pilot attended factory training for the R22 helicopter, and his instructor stated in the general comments, "Hi time airplane pilot still thinks airplane." Examination of the airframe, flight controls, and engine assembly and accessories revealed no anomalies.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control while maneuvering. Contributing to the accident were a tailwind condition and the pilot's inadequate in-flight planning/decision.

Full narrative available

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