January 22, 2008, Ochopee, Fla., Robinson R44


The helicopter was substantially damaged at 1234 Eastern time when it collided with the ground while maneuvering. Visual conditions prevailed. The airline transport pilot and private-pilot passenger were fatally injured.

A witness stated the helicopter had been practicing takeoffs and landings. He observed the helicopter at a hover; it then “went up very fast to an altitude of about 200 feet” and made a right turn in a nose-down attitude. The helicopter then rolled to the left and became inverted. The rotor blades stopped and the helicopter continued to roll left until it became right side up and descended in a nose-down, left turn colliding with the ground and catching fire, followed by an explosion.


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