NTSB Identification: ERA10CA407
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 08, 2010 in Aguadilla, PR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/07/2011
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R44, registration: N367JM
Injuries: 4 Minor.

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 reported that during the takeoff the helicopter encountered a downdraft about 20 feet above the hilltop helipad. He stated that he attempted to compensate for the wind with a collective input, but the helicopter descended and struck the downsloping hillside. The helicopter came to rest on its side and incurred substantial damage during the accident sequence. The pilot stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter. Review of performance documents in the Pilot's Operating Handbook for the helicopter revealed that it was loaded 94 pounds above the maximum gross weight and 120 pounds above the maximum allowable gross weight for out-of-ground-effect hover maneuvers for the environmental conditions present at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight performance calculations, which resulted in the overweight helicopter's lack of hover capability out of ground effect.

Full narrative available

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