NTSB Identification: ERA11CA081
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 08, 2010 in Pahokee, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2011
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N666SL
Injuries: 2 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 stated that before lifting off from the refueling pad, he maneuvered the helicopter where the skids were still on the ground, but lightly touching and not supporting its entire weight. The helicopter made a slight yaw to the left which accelerated into a rapid spin to the left that he could not correct with right pedal input. In an attempt to arrest the spin, the pilot closed the throttle, lowered the collective, and closed the mixture control. On the fourth rotation, the tailboom struck a pole-mounted fire extinguisher, and the helicopter came to rest upright. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical deficiencies with the helicopter. He further stated that his heavy coat and boots worn to combat the unseasonably cold weather may have interfered with the flight controls.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter during takeoff.

Full narrative available

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