NTSB Identification: CEN12CA431
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 06, 2012 in Denton, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2012
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269C, registration: N565LH
Injuries: 2 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 flight instructor and student pilot were practicing takeoffs and landings to confined areas. The student pilot performed a maximum performance takeoff from a confined area to an altitude of about 10 feet above the trees. During the transition to forward flight, the low rotor rpm horn sounded and the helicopter began to settle toward the trees. The instructor applied full throttle and forward cyclic. The helicopter continued to settle and the rotor rpm continued to decay. The instructor leveled the helicopter, applied full collective, and the main rotor blades contacted trees. The helicopter settled into the trees and came to rest nose down. The instructor recommended that the student limit maximum performance takeoffs to large confined areas when operating above 3,000 feet density altitude. The instructor reported no mechanical malfunctions prior to the accident and a calculated density altitude of 3,500 feet.

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

The flight instructor and student pilot exceeded the helicopter's takeoff performance, which resulted in low rotor rpm and settling.

Full narrative available

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