Loss of control Accident Robinson R44 Raven I N772MG,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 220449
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Date:Wednesday 2 January 2019
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R44 Raven I
Owner/operator:Sarasota Helicopter Services Llc
Registration: N772MG
MSN: 2397
Year of manufacture:2015
Total airframe hrs:228 hours
Engine model:Lycoming O-540-F1B5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:off the coast of Anna Maria Island, FL -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Sarasota, FL (FA22)
Destination airport:Sarasota-Bradenton Airport, FL (SRQ/KSRQ)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot reported that, while making a video of a boat, he flew the helicopter with the doors removed about 20 ft above the water and 3/4 mile offshore and saw seabirds ahead crossing right to left but he thought they would be not be a problem. Shortly after seeing the birds, he initiated a right turn to follow the boat, and while he was looking over his right shoulder, he felt an object, which he believed was a seabird, strike him in the back of the head. While dazed from the head strike, he flared to reduce speed, and the helicopter settled into the water. He then applied left lateral cyclic to stop the main rotor blade's rotation, and the helicopter rolled left and inverted in the water.    
The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and main rotor blades. 
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause: The pilot's loss of helicopter control while maneuvering at a low altitude after being struck in the head by a bird.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: GAA19CA124
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Download report: Final report





Photo: FAA



Revision history:

02-Jan-2019 17:14 gerard57 Added
02-Jan-2019 18:36 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
02-Jan-2019 18:38 Aerossurance Updated [Nature, Source, Narrative]
02-Jan-2019 18:39 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code]
02-Jan-2019 20:09 Anon. Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Nature, Embed code]
02-Jan-2019 20:50 Iceman 29 Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Source]
03-Jan-2019 01:17 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type]
04-Jan-2019 08:36 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type]
08-Jan-2019 21:40 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
10-Mar-2020 09:41 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Damage, Narrative, Accident report, ]
10-Mar-2020 09:59 harro Updated [Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Photo, Accident report, ]

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