NTSB Identification: LAX96LA277.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 19, 1996 in MORGAN HILL, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/16/1996
Aircraft: Robinson R22B, registration: N730SH
Injuries: 1 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.

The pilot reported that the helicopter was in cruise flight at 1,000 feet agl when he noticed that both the engine and main rotor were at 110 percent on the dual tachometer. He then entered an autorotation because he believed the engine might quit. The student stated that at touchdown the helicopter had a nose low attitude with some forward speed remaining and the skids dug into the ground, rolling the helicopter over. Through a translator, the pilot reported that the engine/main rotor governor was not working properly. Robinson Helicopter Company reported that the governor unit senses main rotor speed through a sending unit on the engine to transmission shaft. An electronic computer maintains the speed within the normal operating range through a servo motor which actuates the throttle on the collective by means of a clutch assembly. The unit can be turned off by a toggle switch on the collective control, and can be overridden by twisting the throttle. The entire governor assembly, including the speed sensing unit, computer, servo, clutch, and collective/throttle were removed from the helicopter and taken to Robinson Helicopter Company by a Safety Board investigator. All components of the unit were functionally tested and performed within factory new unit acceptance criteria.

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

The student's improper reaction to an engine/main rotor overspeed condition, and his failure to achieve the proper zero airspeed nose high attitude during a touchdown from an autorotation.

Full narrative available

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