NTSB Identification: CEN12FA139
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 19, 2012 in Centerville, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/15/2012
Aircraft: ROBINSON R44 II, registration: N369TL
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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.

Witnesses saw the helicopter circling at a low altitude and saw the pilot wave at them. None of the witnesses saw the impact, but they heard the impact and saw smoke. They responded to the site and used portable fire extinguishers to extinguish the fire. Examination of the accident site revealed that the helicopter struck several trees and fell straight to the ground in a nose-low attitude, coming to rest on its right side. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Impact signatures were consistent with the engine developing power at impact, and it is likely that, at the time of impact, the helicopter was in a steep descent consistent with settling with power.

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

The pilot allowed the helicopter to settle with power while maneuvering at low altitude.

Full narrative available

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