NTSB Identification: ERA11CA474
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 27, 2011 in Titusville, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/27/2011
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269C-1, registration: N2093U
Injuries: 1 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.

According to the student pilot, he flew to a clearing to practice quick stops. He landed in the grass that he estimated to be about 1 foot tall, reset the altimeter, and lifted off the ground into an approximate 3-foot hover. Shortly thereafter, he noticed smoke blowing past the right side of the helicopter. He said that as he attempted to maneuver the helicopter away from the smoke, the engine lost power, and the rotor speed decayed. He landed in the grass, which was on fire, and exited the helicopter, which sustained substantial thermal damage forward of the tailboom. A postaccident examination revealed that the engine exhaust had ignited the grass. According to the operator, the accident location was not an approved landing site. According to the helicopter's flight manual, a fire can result from landing in tall, dry grass due to the exhaust heat. The pilot reported no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The student pilot's landing at an unapproved location, which resulted in a ground fire from the engine exhaust.

Full narrative available

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