NTSB Identification: ERA09LA323
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 05, 2009 in Berlin, VT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/17/2010
Aircraft: YORK RONALD J ROTORWAY 162F, registration: N162RY
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 experimental amateur-built helicopter was approaching an airport when witnesses heard a “pop noise” and saw it nose down, “straight into the ground.” The main wreckage was located about 360 feet from a treeline. There were no skid marks and no evidence of tree impact. The majority of the helicopter was consumed in a postcrash fire, which precluded a thorough examination. Debris from the aircraft was located about 1/2-mile from the accident site, on what would have been a left base to the runway. Additional items, including cabin door plexiglass material and a piece of horizontal stabilizer fin, extended aft of the impact site about 320 feet. The main rotor system was collapsed downward, and the swashplate assembly and flight control system were destroyed. The main rotor blades exhibited fire damage, and appeared to have “very little” impact damage, with no notable damage to the leading edges. The tail boom was melted from the fuselage attach point to 2 to 3 feet forward of the tail rotor gearbox, which was rotated without binding. The tail rotor blades were broken near their bases, and one blade was impaled in the ground. A postmortem examination of the pilot, who was also the builder, did not reveal any preaccident medical anomalies.

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

A loss of control in flight for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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