The crash of a helicopter piloted by Scottish billionaire Irvine Laidlaw near Deer Isle last August was caused by pilot error, according to a factual report just issued by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Laidlaw, and three passengers reportedly received minor injuries as a result of the emergency water landing. The damaged helicopter was brought to Waldo County following the crash.

According to the NTSB report, Laidlaw said in a written statement that he had entered an out-of-ground-effect hover, initiated a left pedal turn, the helicopter started turning faster than commanded, and he was unable to regain authority of the aircraft.

Laidlaw is quoted in the report as having said in his statement, “the accident was totally pilot error with no mechanical malfunction.”

The 66-year-old pilot held a private pilot’s certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land and rotorcraft-helicopter, according to the NTSB report. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration third-class medical certificate was issued on June 4, 2009. He reported 1,180 total flight hours, 680 flight hours in rotorcraft, and 55 flight hours in the accident helicopter make and model, a Eurocopter EC 130B4.

Among other factors listed in the report is a quotation from a service letter Eurocopter provided to all pilots indicating that in certain low maneuvers, a momentary loss of control and slow response by the aircraft when the pilot attempts to regain control can trick the pilot into believing that the tail rotor has failed.

The report continues, the pilot “decides either to climb to gain speed or to get closer to the ground … increasing the collective pitch results in increasing the main rotor torque and consequently further speeds up the leftward rotation. This results in the loss of aircraft control … sharp decrease in collective pitch can make the aircraft tilt to the side whilst rotating…”