NTSB Identification: CEN12FA621
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 10, 2012 in Houston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2013
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N281RG
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.

The commercial pilot and his passenger were conducting a low-level aerial photography operation in a helicopter when the engine stopped producing power. Several witnesses observed the helicopter descend vertically to the ground as the body of the helicopter spun to the left around the main rotor blades. A postimpact fire consumed most of the helicopter. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Although the weather conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to the formation of carburetor icing at cruise and glide power settings, the investigation could not conclusively determine that carburetor ice caused the loss of engine power. The cause of the power loss could not be determined.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter after a loss of engine power. The reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined because examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded operation.

Full narrative available

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