NTSB Identification: CEN14CA223
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 25, 2014 in Liberty, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/05/2014
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N32VB
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.

Upon arrival at the destination airport, the pilot hovered the helicopter about 2 feet above the ground and prepared to land. The pilot noted that during the hover while the nose of the helicopter was pointed east, the wind shifted direction and gusted from the west. The helicopter's tail section raised and the nose lowered, which allowed the main rotor blades to strike the ground. The helicopter rolled over on its left side and sustained substantial damage to the main rotor blades and fuselage. The Federal Aviation Administration inspector responded to the scene; an examination of the helicopter was conducted and did not reveal any evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot noted that if he had kept the helicopter's nose pointed into the wind then the accident might not have occurred.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control while operating in gusty wind conditions at a low altitude.

Full narrative available

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