NTSB Identification: LAX96LA172.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 16, 1996 in SAN DIEGO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/20/1996
Aircraft: Bell 206B III, registration: N2750F
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While practicing touchdown autorotations, the helicopter landed hard on uneven terrain short of the intended touchdown point. The commercial pilot-rated student was demonstrating a autorotation with a turn to the runway. As he completed the turn and was aligning with the runway, the helicopter rotor rpm dropped to 70 percent. Halfway into the maneuver the flight instructor realized the helicopter was too low and slow to accomplish a power recovery and took control. The helicopter landed short of the runway in rough terrain. A postflight inspection of the helicopter revealed wrinkles in the tail boom. The pilot under instruction held a rotorcraft helicopter rating.

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

the student's failure to maintain adequate main rotor rpm and airspeed during a practice autorotation, and the instructor's inadequate supervision of the flight.

Full narrative available

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