NTSB Identification: ERA13CA283
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in Morgantown, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2013
Aircraft: HUGHES TH-55A, registration: N7057H
Injuries: 1 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 pilot was attempting to reposition the helicopter from an off-airport site in advance of an approaching storm. Following an uneventful preflight inspection and engine start, the pilot climbed the helicopter into a hover and turned toward his intended departure path. He then pushed the cyclic control forward and increased the collective pitch in order to clear some approaching trees. The pilot then realized that “appropriate power” was not available, and turned right in order to avoid the trees. The helicopter subsequently settled with power and impacted the brush below, resulting in substantial damage to the airframe. The pilot reported that there were no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures of the helicopter, nor were any discovered during a postaccident examination of the airframe and engine. The pilot additionally stated that the accident could have been prevented with “better situational awareness.”

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

The pilot’s inadequate planning which resulted in an encounter with settling with power and descent into terrain during takeoff.

Full narrative available

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