NTSB Identification: CEN13LA086
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 01, 2012 in Walkerville, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/30/2014
Aircraft: BELL 47G-2, registration: N3755Z
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The passenger reported that the pilot was maneuvering the helicopter over an area of tree-covered marsh at a low altitude when the helicopter entered a descent, collided with trees, and impacted the ground on its left side. An examination of the wreckage found damage consistent with the main rotor blades being driven by the engine when they contacted the trees. Although the passenger reported hearing a loud sound before the helicopter started descending, postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation. The circumstances of the accident are consistent with the pilot failing to maintain altitude while maneuvering at low airspeed and low altitude, which resulted in the helicopter descending into trees.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain altitude while maneuvering, which resulted in a collision with trees. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to fly at a low altitude, which did not provide enough margin to recover from the descent.

Full narrative available

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