FTW01LA053
FTW01LA053

On January 27, 2001, at 1600 central standard time, a Schweizer 269C helicopter, N99DK, was substantially damaged when it rolled over during takeoff near Damon, Texas. The helicopter was registered to Cape Atlantic Landowners Association, Inc., of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and operated by Barr Air Patrol of Houston, Texas. The commercial pilot and observer were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation flight. The flight originated from the Houston Airpark Airport, Pearland, Texas, about 1500, for a power line patrol.

The pilot reported that he landed the helicopter off airport due to the observer becoming sick. After the observer recovered, he attempted to takeoff. With the helicopter headed into the wind, he increased collective. The left skid lifted first and he applied the correction he "thought was appropriate: more left stick/cyclic." The pilot further reported that he then felt the skid continue to rise, and he had the feeling that the right skid was "hooked" by the ground. He applied "full left stick/cyclic deflection and lowered collective." The pilot stated that "at that time I believe a wind shift with a gust blew under my rotor and pushed me over." The main rotor blades hit the ground, and the helicopter came to rest on its right side.

The operator reported that the main rotor transmission, main rotor blades, tail boom, tail rotor, and the right side of the fuselage were damaged.

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