LAX06CA060
LAX06CA060

On December 18, 2005, about 1700 Pacific standard time, a Robinson R22 Beta, N177LH, collided with terrain during takeoff in a rocky field in the vicinity of Irwindale, California. Universal Air Academy operated the helicopter under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 and had rented it to the private pilot. The pilot was not injured and the helicopter was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The personal flight originated at El Monte Airport, El Monte, California, about 1600.

In a written statement the pilot said that he was practicing landings, climbs, descents, and approaches over an area where he could safely land. He landed the helicopter, then took off to the south, and made a left downwind turn. During the takeoff and left downwind turn he said he climbed too fast without much forward airspeed and was trying to avoid some trees when the helicopter started an uncontrolled descent. During the descent he heard the rpm horn. He tried to enter an autorotation but he was too close to the ground, and the helicopter impacted the terrain. He extracted himself out of the wreckage and hiked out of the area to get help and report the accident.

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