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Narrative:On July 24, 2012, about 19:00 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time), a Hughes 269C helicopter, N9679F, was substantially damaged following a loss of control and an uncontrolled descent during hover over the owner's business property in St. Petersburg, Florida. The pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
|Owner/operator:||Kinzie Industries Inc|
|C/n / msn:|| 310103|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Substantial|
|Location:||4550 35th Street North, Lealman, St. Petersburg, FL -
United States of America
|Phase:|| Take off|
|Departure airport:||Lealman, FL|
|Destination airport:||Lealman, FL|
According to the pilot, on the day of the accident he decided to fly it to "lube parts". After liftoff he brought the helicopter to a hover facing east about 25 feet in the air for about 5 minutes and initiated some pedal turns. The nose of the helicopter then began to drift towards the right. He applied left pedal but the helicopter was unresponsive and began to spin clockwise. It continued to spin clockwise for 6 to 8 complete 360 degree turns before he lowered the collective and the helicopter impacted the ground on the left skid, struck a fence, and then rolled over on its left side.
However, according to two men who witnessed the accident, they observed that the helicopter was facing west and flying from side to side anywhere from 50 to 80 feet high, somewhat out of control, in a U shape pattern (from their viewpoint), until the helicopter turned with its left side facing down, and then went straight down. Both men stated the helicopter did not spin in circles.
Other witnesses also reported similar observations and though their observations differed in some respects. The majority of the witnesses indicated that the helicopter was observed approximately 50 feet in the air and was either swaying side to side, turning side to side, moving side to side, or turning clockwise and then counterclockwise. None described it as spinning in circles. The helicopter was also described as being out of control before it impacted the ground, and one witness estimated that the entire flight from liftoff to impact took approximately 2 minutes.
1. NTSB Identification: ERA12LA477 at http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20120724X11006&ntsbno=ERA12LA477&akey=1
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=9679F
||Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]|
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