NTSB Identification: LAX96FA185.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 30, 1996 in SANTA ANA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/17/1997
Aircraft: Robinson R22, registration: N9070N
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Both pilots were practicing full touchdown autorotations while in the traffic pattern. The second pilot made three successful touchdown autorotations and takeoffs. The first pilot assumed the controls after the second pilot completed the third autorotation. On final approach, the first pilot decelerated the helicopter and increased the glide angle to the runway. He then attempted to decrease the glide angle when it became evident that he was going to land short. The first pilot attempted to arrest the rate of descent, but without success. He was able to level the helicopter before it struck the ground. A ground witness said that the helicopter decelerated and then nosed over. The descent rate was between 1,000 to 2,000 feet per minute, and the main rotor rpm was at 100 percent throughout the sequence of events. The first pilot said he could not recall if the engine responded to his throttle inputs. Postaccident examination disclosed no evidence of any preexisting airframe or engine malfunctions or failures.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot misjudged the helicopter's distance and altitude and failed to attain the proper descent rate.

Full narrative available

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