NTSB Identification: WPR14FA167
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 13, 2014 in Reno, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/15/2014
Aircraft: SANDS HELICYCLE, registration: N78CS
Injuries: 1 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 student pilot was flying his single-seat helicopter as part of a flight of two helicopters with the intention of flying around the airport traffic pattern. Witnesses located adjacent to the accident site reported that, as both helicopters reached an altitude consistent with pattern altitude, the accident helicopter suddenly pitched down. One witness stated that the helicopter shuddered a few times and then pitched down while rolling in a clockwise rotation. The helicopter subsequently impacted flat desert terrain. Postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed no evidence of any preexisting mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

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 while in the traffic pattern.

Full narrative available

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