WPR11LA190
WPR11LA190

On April 6, 2011, at 1355 Pacific daylight time, a Bell 47G helicopter, N9FK, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain following a loss of control during departure at Zamperini Field (TOA), Torrance, California. The private pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries. The owner/pilot was operating the helicopter under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight, which was originating at the time of the accident. A flight plan had not been filed.

The pilot reported that he received clearance to take off. He applied power and pitch, and lifted up approximately 2 to 3 feet while starting a pedal turn to the right. He stated that the helicopter "abruptly started to turn right hard and he had no control over the helicopter." He immediately lowered the collective to stop the rotation. When the helicopter touched down, it immediately rolled onto its right side, shattering the cabin bubble and main rotor blades. Additionally, the fuselage was distorted and bent.

An airport operations employee heard the noise and responded to assist the pilot. He said the pilot told him that he “was in a hover just above the ground. I was cleared for takeoff and it just went over.”

The wind reported at 1357, at Torrance, was from 270 degrees at 8 knots; no wind gusts were reported during the 24-hour period on the day of the accident. The pilot did not report any known preimpact mechanical discrepancies with the helicopter.

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