On December 9, 1997, about 1530 eastern standard time, a Hughes TH-55 helicopter, N74914, collided with trees while in a hover near Bushnell, Florida. The helicopter was operated by the student pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A flight plan was not filed for the solo, instructional flight. The pilot was not injured, and the helicopter was substantially damaged. Origination of the flight was Brooksville, Florida, about 1330, on the same day.

The student pilot stated he drifted too close to the trees, and the rotor blades struck the tree limbs.

According to the flight instructor, the student allowed the helicopter to drift with wind and contacted trees with the main rotor blades. The helicopter then crashed onto a road.

The FAA inspector stated the pilot said he was showing off for his daughter, who was on the ground, and not paying attention to the tree limbs. After the accident, the pilot received counseling in flight safety and situational awareness.

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