NTSB Identification: WPR11LA190
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 06, 2011 in Torrance, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/20/2012
Aircraft: BELL 47G, registration: N9FK
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 helicopter pilot reported that he applied power and pitch for takeoff and lifted up about 2 to 3 feet while starting a pedal turn to the right. He said that the helicopter then abruptly started to turn hard to the right and that he then had no control over the helicopter, so he immediately lowered the collective to stop the rotation. When the helicopter touched down, it immediately rolled onto its right side, shattering the cabin bubble and the main rotor blades. An airport operations employee heard the noise and responded to assist the pilot. He said that the pilot told him that he was in a hover just above the ground and that he “was cleared for takeoff and it just went over.” No gusts were reported on the day of the accident. The pilot did not report any known preimpact mechanical discrepancies with the helicopter. It is likely that the pilot simultaneously performed a right-pedal turn while transitioning to forward flight at too low an altitude.

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

The pilot did not maintain adequate altitude during takeoff, which resulted in ground contact and a dynamic rollover.

Full narrative available

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