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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA17CA165
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 19, 2017 in Spofford, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/07/2017
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44, registration: N804DF
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the skid-equipped helicopter reported that, the night before the accident flight, he hover-taxied into a hangar because convective activity was approaching the airport and he did not have ground-handling equipment (wheels) to move the helicopter. The following morning, he attempted to hover-taxi out of the hangar for a positioning flight, but the main rotor blade struck the top of the hangar door when the helicopter was about three-quarters of the way out of the hangar. Subsequently, the helicopter spun and rolled over onto its left side.
The main rotor and tailboom sustained substantial damage.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's decision to hover-taxi out of the hangar and his subsequent failure to maintain clearance from the hangar.