Incident Robinson R44 II N804DF,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 217132
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Date:Saturday 5 July 2008
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R44 II
Owner/operator:Helicopter Tours of Texas
Registration: N804DF
MSN: 11265
Year of manufacture:2006
Total airframe hrs:421 hours
Engine model:Lycoming IO-540-AE1A5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Canyon Lake, Cormal County, Texas -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Gruene, New Braunfels, Cormal County, Texas
Destination airport:Canyon Lake Airport, Canyon Lake, Texas (FAA LID: 34TS)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Substantially damaged at 16L00 CDT (Central Daylight Time) on July 5, 2008 when crashed at Canyon Lake, Cormal County, Texas (at approximate coordinates 29'91.6944"N, 98'30.5556"W). Two of the three person on board were uninjured, the third sustained minor injuries. According to the official NTSB report into the accident:

"The commercial pilot was conducting a photo flight with himself and two passengers in the four seat helicopter. The helicopter had been in a zero airspeed out of ground effect hover at approximately 40 to 50 feet above the ground for about 15 seconds when the pilot applied power to begin a vertical climb. According to the pilot, he then suddenly and without warning lost directional control, the helicopter began to spin nose right, and his application of full left pedal had no effect. The pilot initiated an autorotation and the helicopter landed hard on rough rocky sloping terrain between several trees. The crash caused substantial damage to the fuselage and airframe when the left skid gear partially collapsed and penetrated into the left rear passenger cabin floor area. The upper pylon was noticeably bent and wrinkled, and both main rotor blades were damaged. An on-scene investigation by an FAA maintenance inspector confirmed continuity and no apparent damage to the flight controls. There was no post-crash fire and the pilot and front seat passenger reported no injuries, but the left rear seat passenger suffered minor injuries and had to be carried out of the aircraft. The pilot reported the surface winds were light and variable, visibility 10 statute miles with scattered clouds at 3,000 feet, a temperature of 88 degrees, and an altimeter setting of 30.01 inches of mercury.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A total loss of tail rotor effectiveness. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's improper decision to operate inside the height velocity curve."

Additional; Robinson R44 N804DF was repaired and returned to service, only to crash again on February 19, 2017 (see link #3)

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DFW08CA177
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 month
Download report: Final report


1. NTSB Identification: DFW08CA177 at
2. FAA Registration:

History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft
16 July 2015 N804DF 0 Prairie Lea, Texas sub
19 February 2017 N804DF Private 0 Spofford, TX sub
Loss of control


Revision history:

02-Nov-2018 18:01 Dr.John Smith Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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