NTSB Identification: CEN09CA180
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 25, 2009 in O'Donnell, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/12/2009
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N387AC
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 conducting a predator control mission when he spotted wild hogs in an approximate 20-acre field of Salt Cedar trees. The pilot made a quick stop at an out-of-ground effect (OGE) hover in an attempt to move the hogs out in the open. The pilot stated that the low rotor RPM horn and light activated. He immediately stopped to regain rotor RPM. As the aircraft approached the edge of the trees towards an open field, the wind stopped and the rotor dropped to approximately 90 percent. The pilot observed an increase in airframe vibration followed by a hard left roll. The helicopter main rotor blades struck the ground in a 90-degree bank and came to rest on its left side. The pilot was not injured and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The pilot stated that the approximate gross weight at the time of the accident was 1,370 pounds. The helicopter performance charts indicated maximum weight for out of ground effect hover was 1,320 pounds for the weather conditions.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control while performing a quick stop maneuver to an out of ground effect (OGE) hover. Contributing to the accident was the high density altitude and near calm wind condition.

Full narrative available

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