NTSB Identification: CEN11FA422
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 27, 2011 in Del Valle, TX
Aircraft: ROBINSON R22 BETA, registration: N7779M
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On June 27, 2011, about 1155 central daylight time, a Robinson R22 BETA, N7779M, struck trees and impacted terrain near Del Valle, Texas. The pilot, the sole occupant on board the helicopter, was fatally injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the operator under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The cross-country flight originated from Taylor, Texas, and was en route to Luling, Texas.
According to a witness, the helicopter was flying just above the trees and as it crossed the Colorado River, he heard a loud "pop" or "bang." He saw something separate from the helicopter and fall into the river. The helicopter impacted trees and terrain on the other side of the riverbank. The witness did not see the impact.
The burnt wreckage was at the base of a large tree. One rotor blade was found approximately 870 feet from the wreckage. The other rotor blade was found approximately 975 feet from the wreckage but in the opposite direction. Both blades were intact with no leading edge damage. The river was searched by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Nothing was recovered.
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