NTSB Identification: ERA10CA109
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 06, 2010 in Grantsville, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/17/2010
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269C-1, registration: N3275M
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.

While en route to the destination airport, the pilot made a stop to fuel the helicopter and check the weather. According to the pilot, no precipitation was predicted for his route of flight, the winds were expected from the northwest at 15 knots, and a cloud ceiling of 2,500 feet broken was forecasted. He stated that no specific windshear or turbulence was forecasted. The pilot continued the flight and noted that the wind became stronger over the mountains. He decided he would land the helicopter after he passed over the second ridge; however, as he continued, "strong windshear" lifted the helicopter and then "dropped it to the ground." The pilot reported no pre-impact mechanical anomalies with the helicopter. He also reported approximately 600 hours of total flight experience, all of which were in make and model of the accident helicopter. Examination of recorded weather information revealed AIRMET TANGO for turbulence was in effect for the pilot's route of flight.

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

The pilot's loss of aircraft control after encountering turbulence over a mountain range. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to obtain an Airmet for turbulence along the route of flight prior to departure and while enroute.

Full narrative available

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