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NTSB Report: Las Vegas, NV

On June 13, 2018, about 1059 Pacific daylight time, a Schweizer 269C Helicopter, N557DC, was substantially damaged as the pilot was powering up for takeoff at North Las Vegas Airport (VGT) Las Vegas, Nevada, and the helicopter developed severe vibrations. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The planned cross county flight was originating at the time, with a planned destination of Perkins Field Airport, Overton, Nevada.

The pilot reported that just prior to takeoff, the helicopter began to vibrate and violently shake, consistent with ground resonance. He lowered the collective, rolled off the throttle, and aborted the takeoff. During the abort sequence, the vibrations and shaking continued to increase and lasted for about 30 seconds. The helicopter rotated about 45° to the left and the engine eventually shut itself down. The planned takeoff was from an asphalt surfaced helipad. The wind was reported as 130° at 9 knots, at 1053.

Postaccident examination of the helicopter by a FAA inspector revealed substantial damage was sustained by the fuselage. The helicopter was recovered and secured for further examination.

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