MIA07LA102
MIA07LA102

On May 27, 2007, about 1108 central daylight time, a Bell 47G, N7763, registered to Whirlybirds Inc. and operated by a student pilot, impacted with terrain during landing in Hayden, Alabama. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 code of federal regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight. The student was killed and the helicopter incurred substantial damage. The flight originated from within the student pilot’s property about 1100.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector stated that the student pilot had just purchased the helicopter and transported it to his property on a trailer. The helicopter was flown off the trailer to an area where he usually landed, an uneven cow pasture, within the student pilot’s property. A witness observed that the approach of the helicopter was a steep descent. The helicopter landed hard, bounced back up, and the tail section started to move close to a tree. At that moment the helicopter went up fast, about 25 feet above the ground, before it rolled over. It looked to the witness as if the helicopter was out of control. The main rotor blades struck the ground as it was rolling over. He lost site of the helicopter as it continued past an area behind a fence. When he approached the helicopter, the witness immediately observed the helicopter was damaged and the pilot had received serious injuries. The witness added that the accident landing was the student pilot's first landing in the accident helicopter.

An examination of the recovered airframe, flight control system components, engine and its system components by an FAA inspector revealed no evidences of preimpact mechanical malfunction.

The pilot, age 63, held a student pilot certificate with a helicopter endorsement. He was issued an FAA third-class medical certificate in September –2004, and reported "0" flight hours. In August 2006, he was issued an FAA third-class medical certificate and the student pilot reported 160 hours of flight experience at that time. A review of the student pilot’s logbooks by the FAA inspector revealed the student pilot did not have the 90-day solo endorsement as required by 14 CFR 61.87(n).

An autopsy of the student pilot was conducted by the Medical Center Blount County, Oneonta, Alabama. The cause of death was reported as multiple injuries due to blunt trauma. Toxicology tests were negative for drugs.

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