NTSB Identification: NYC08LA259
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 27, 2008 in Graysville, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/2009
Aircraft: SANDS THOMAS E ROTORWAY 162, registration: N412TS
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

The amateur-built helicopter had flown 57 hours since new. The new owner performed a detailed preflight inspection and repetitive run up checks prior to departure, with no mechanical anomalies noted. After takeoff, the pilot climbed to about 600 feet above the ground, flew straight for approximately 2 miles, then turned to the left. During the turn, the pilot noted a low frequency vibration, and an "unusual back pressure on the cyclic." Coming out of the turn, back pressure to the cyclic increased. Indicated airspeed was 75 mph, and all gauges were "in the green." As the helicopter continued straight and level, back pressure continued to increase, requiring more forward cyclic to maintain airspeed and level flight. The pilot climbed, and turned back toward the departure point. After the turn, the helicopter initiated an uncommanded nose up attitude and rolled to the left, with the nose then dropping so low that the pilot was looking at the ground. The pilot arrested the turn utilizing collective and throttle, and by "forcibly" pulling and pushing on the cyclic as needed. He then performed a "quasi-controllable" autorotation to the ground, landing on the skids, heading down-slope on a hill, with no forward or side motion. The helicopter subsequently rolled over on its right side, and fuel ignited as the pilot exited through the broken windshield. Due to the helicopter being consumed in the postcrash fire, a thorough examination was not possible.

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

A loss of control for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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