NTSB Identification: CEN11LA648
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 15, 2011 in Ocate, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/2013
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R44, registration: N828PM
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The helicopter was about 80 to 150 feet above ground level with the airspeed about 10 to 15 knots, when the pilot got a low rotor rpm warning, and the engine lost power. The pilot lowered the collective pitch lever, put in right pedal, and kept “full throttle.” The helicopter made two to three complete 360 degree turns before it impacted terrain. According to a carburetor icing probability chart, an engine operating in the ambient conditions at the time of the accident could expect a serious risk of carburetor icing while at cruise power. The pilot reported that he had possibly failed to use enough carburetor heat and he thought that was the reason for the loss of engine power. An examination of the helicopter showed no preimpact mechanical failures or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot’s failure to apply carburetor heat, which resulted in the formation of carburetor ice and a partial loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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