On November 2, 2002, about 0910 Pacific standard time, a Bell 47G-2, N2616B, collided with a bush and terrain during an attempted takeoff from a plateau near Pollock Pines, California. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured. The second passenger received a minor injury. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The helicopter was operated for hire on a photography flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, by D. C. Rotor & Wing, Rancho Murieta, California. The flight originated from Rancho Murieta about 0810.

The pilot reported to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that he flew to the plateau and landed. The two passengers exited the helicopter to take pictures. The helicopter's engine was kept running. Thereafter, the passengers reboarded the helicopter to continue their flight. The pilot stated that because of the ambient conditions, including the 3,500-foot mean sea level elevation and estimated 40-degree Fahrenheit temperature, the helicopter did not have adequate power to make a normal departure from a hover. However, the pilot indicated that he believed there was sufficient clear area over the rocky terrain to perform a running takeoff.

According to the pilot, during the accident sequence he increased the helicopter's collective pitch and accelerated to about 20 knots thereby starting to acquire effective translational lift. During this initial climb a skid collided with a 3-foot-tall bush. The helicopter suddenly yawed and impacted the ground.

In the pilot's completed "Aircraft Accident Report" he stated that "...the purpose of the flight was to encourage [one of the passengers] to resume her flight training with D.C. Rotor."

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