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N74536 accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 35.145000°N, 106.795000°W
Nearest city Albuquerque, NM
35.084491°N, 106.651137°W
9.1 miles away
Tail number N74536
Accident date 09 Jul 2007
Aircraft type Robinson R22 Beta
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

According to a statement provided by the student pilot, he was on a solo cross country flight. Prior to departure from Double Eagle Airport (AEG), Albuquerque, New Mexico, he refueled the helicopter with 15 gallons of fuel. After departure from AEG, the helicopter headed north, turned to the east, and then turned to a southerly direction. While in cruise flight at 6,800 feet mean sea level (msl) approximately 5 miles north of Albuquerque International Sunport Airport (ABQ), the student reported that the helicopter began losing altitude. In an attempt to recover the altitude, the student increased collective and reduced forward airspeed. At 1,000 feet above ground level and airspeed of 50 to 60 knots, the student further increased the collective and the helicopter "pitched, then turned rapidly to the right." The student partially lowered the collective and did not attempt to use the pedals to stop the turn as the helicopter continued to lose altitude. After the helicopter rotated approximately 160 degrees to the right, the helicopter "stopped or slowed turning." While heading in a northerly direction, the student then noticed a radio tower in front of the helicopter and applied right cyclic to avoid the tower. The student then attempted to land the helicopter to a parking lot. During the attempted landing, the helicopter contacted power lines, impacted the parking lot, and came to rest on its left side. Examination of the helicopter revealed the tail boom was separated into three sections and the main rotor blades were bent. According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, no anomalies with the airframe or engine were noted. The student pilot was not injured. The calculated density altitude for the weather conditions at the time of the accident was approximately 9,600 feet.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during an encounter with the loss of tail rotor effectiveness. Contributing factors were the high density altitude and the power lines.

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