NTSB Identification: CEN11CA325
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 08, 2011 in Golden, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/2011
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N921JM
Injuries: 3 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 helicopter was following participants in a downhill skateboard race in mountainous terrain. The pilot had just performed a left-pedal turn and the helicopter was facing upslope to the mountain. The low rotor warning sounded and the pilot lowered the collective and increased throttle. The pilot stated that the engine did not respond so he continued to lower the collective and looked for a place to land. During the forced landing on the downsloping terrain the helicopter came to rest on its nose, resulting in substantial damage to the main rotor, skid tubes, and tail boom. Postaccident examination of the helicopter, engine, and systems, revealed no anomalies. The density altitude was calculated to be 10,600 feet. The pilot calculated the in-ground-effect hover to be 8,500 feet pressure altitude, the out-of-ground-effect hover to be 5,000 feet pressure altitude, and estimated the gross weight to be 2,320 pounds.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot’s decision to operate the helicopter at a high density altitude near terrain, which resulted in a settling with power condition. Full narrative available
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