NTSB Identification: DFW08CA198.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 25, 2008 in Rosharon, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Robinson R22, registration: N2330Y
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 pilot was maneuvering a single-engine helicopter at a low altitude over a rice field when the tail rotor "dipped into the rice causing it to fail." As a result, the pilot lost control of the helicopter and it impacted the ground hard on the skids causing the main rotor blade to flex down and sever the tail boom. When asked how this accident could have been prevented, the pilot said, "There is very little margin for error and no time to correct with the ground so close. There is a reason why operating in the shaded area is discouraged." He also reported that there were no mechanical deficiencies.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain terrain clearance while maneuvering. Contributing to the accident was the low altitude.

Full narrative available

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