NTSB Identification: SEA97LA115.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 16, 1997 in BOISE, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/1998
Aircraft: Robinson R22B, registration: N2328W
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.

The student pilot was on a checkride for a private pilot certificate with an FAA operations inspector acting as a check pilot. The check pilot stated that he had asked the student to demonstrate a hovering autorotation. Their procedures were discussed before starting the maneuver. The check pilot noted that the student stated that on the count of three, he would start the maneuver by rolling the throttle off first. The check pilot stated that as he was adjusting himself on the seat, at the count of one, the applicant rolled the throttle partially off, induced right pedal as hard as he could and pulled on the collective as quickly as he could. The check pilot noted that during the maneuver, the engine returned to full power because of the corrolator. The helicopter then climbed to approximately 15 feet and started to spin. The check pilot said that by then, he was on the controls and was asking the applicant to let go. He stated that the student pilot froze on the controls during the maneuver and refused to let go. After approximately eight or nine spins, he was unable to maintain control of the helicopter, with the applicant still at the controls at the time of the crash.

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

improper handling of the helicopter by the student pilot/applicant, during a hover autorotation, which resulted in loss of tail rotor effectiveness. The check pilot's inadequate remedial action was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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