NTSB Identification: NYC98LA053.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 26, 1997 in RIVERSIDE, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/28/2000
Aircraft: Robinson R-22 BETA, registration: N8015V
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 stated the helicopter was approximately 800 feet above ground level, climbing 300 feet-per-minute at 60 knots airspeed, when he heard the low rotor RPM warning horn and saw the corresponding low RPM warning light. The pilot said he entered autorotation '...with a nasty tailwind.' The pilot selected an open field for a forced landing site, determined he would overshoot, but continued straight ahead into trees. Prior to entering the trees that bordered the field, the pilot '...attempted to roll on throttle but got no response.' According to a manufacturer's Safety Notice: 'No matter what causes the low rotor RPM, the pilot must first roll on throttle and lower collective simultaneously to recover RPM before investigating the problem.' The pilot reported there were no mechanical deficiencies prior to the low RPM warning and the engine ran to manufacturer's specification after the accident. According to an icing probability chart published by the FAA, atmospheric conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to '...serious icing at cruise power.'

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

the pilot's improper response to the low rotor RPM warning. Factors in the accident were the pilot's failure to turn for the forced landing area and the carburetor icing conditions.

Full narrative available

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