On April 26, 1996, about 1830 central daylight time, a Bell 47D1 helicopter, N5226, registered to a private owner, and operated by Versatile Aviation as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight, was substantially damaged when it rolled over on takeoff at Ardmore Downtown Executive Airport, Ardmore, Oklahoma. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight instructor and his pilot rated student were not injured. The familiarization flight originated from Ardmore, Oklahoma, about 15 minutes before the accident.

The flight instructor and the operator reported that, during a familiarization flight, the private pilot landed the helicopter in tall grass approximately 50 feet short of the intended touchdown point. While attempting to takeoff with "the right skid embedded in soft earth," the helicopter "rolled to the right and came to rest on its side." The pilot rated student holds a German private pilot certificate with a helicopter rating.

An examination of the helicopter by the operator revealed that the main rotor blades and head assembly sustained substantial damage. The cabin and bubble assembly were also damaged.

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