FTW04LA060
FTW04LA060

On January 12, 2004, approximately 0915 central standard time, a Robinson R-22 Beta single-engine helicopter, N7061V, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following an in-flight collision with a tree while maneuvering near Encino, Texas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured. The helicopter was registered and operated by Mesquite Helicopter Services, Inc., of Alice, Texas, and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 business flight.

According to the 6,750-hour pilot, the helicopter departed a private ranch, about 0730, for the purpose of herding cattle. While hovering at a low altitude, the tail rotor contacted a tree. Due to the loss of the tail rotor system, the helicopter yawed, and the pilot initiated an autorotation. During the autorotation, the helicopter impacted a stand of trees and brush, and subsequently, came to rest on its left side.

According to the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) Recommendation (How Could This Accident Have Been Prevented) section, the pilot reported, "Higher level of flight near obstructions."

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