NTSB Identification: ERA10CA083
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 28, 2009 in Indian Key, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R22, registration: N324GS
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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.

According to the pilot, he landed in order to examine his helicopter due to the intermittent illumination of a warning light. After landing, he reduced the throttle to "70 percent," exited the helicopter, and began a visual inspection as the helicopter continued to run. During the inspection, the helicopter initiated a takeoff, which the pilot could not arrest from outside the cockpit. The helicopter climbed to approximately 150 feet altitude and flew about 1,800 feet before it descended and collided with water. The pilot was seriously injured during the takeoff, and the helicopter was substantially damaged during collision with the water. The pilot stated that he failed to secure the collective control, and added, "There was nothing wrong with the helicopter."

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

The pilot's failure to secure the collective control prior to departing the helicopter, which resulted in an unmanned departure and subsequent crash of the helicopter.

Full narrative available

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