The helicopter landed on a gravel bar about 15 nm west of Nanaimo Airport, BC (CYCD). Shortly after landing the pilot engaged the cyclic control lock and exited the helicopter to take a photograph with the engine running and rotors turning. After re-entering the helicopter, it was lifted off into a hover with the cyclic control lock still engaged. The aircraft rolled over and was substantially damaged.
The Safari 400 homebuilt helicopter was being operated on the owner’s property. The engine was being tested to ensure the governor was correctly installed. The helicopter became airborne by 2-3 feet and the operator lost control. The helicopter went sideways and struck the ground rolling on its side. The helicopter was destroyed but the pilot was not seriously injured. CADORS 2015A0434
Loss of power on climb out – cleared powerlines and put helicopter down heavily in a paddock. Helicopter had completed three short flights in the previous hour without incident. Pilot Bruce Belfield not injured, but passenger was hospitalized.
Helicopter appears to have descended vertically to impact point – no skid-marks near site. Accident killed 72-year old pilot and his passenger. Helicopter caught fire on landing and the two fatalities were found in the wreckage by firemen after they put out the blaze.
NTSB report states that after an engine surge, the pilot performed an autorotation onto the trees below. The helicopter landed on top of a tree, which lower the helicopter gently as it bent over toward the creek below. As the helicopter reached the water, it rolled on to its side. Fuel from the fuel tanks spilled and caught on fire.