NTSB Identification: CHI93LA187.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 31, 1993 in SANDWICH, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/17/1994
Aircraft: ROBINSON R22, registration: N44227
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 FIXED-WING ONLY STUDENT PILOT REPORTED HE WAS RUNNING UP THE ENGINE ON HIS HELICOPTER TO CHECK THE MAGNETOS. HE SAID DURING THE RUN-UP HE FELT A VIBRATION AFTER ENGAGING THE ROTOR BLADES, AND HE DECIDED TO FASTENED HIS SEAT BELT. HE SAID HE LEANED OVER TO CHECK THE MAGNETOS, AND A GUST OF WIND, IN CONJUNCTION WITH A COLLECTIVE THAT CAME OFF THE BOTTOM STOP, ALLOWED THE HELICOPTER TO LIFTOFF. HE SAID HE PUT THE COLLECTIVE DOWN, AND THE HELICOPTER CRASHED. A POLICE OFFICER WHO INTERVIEWED THE STUDENT PILOT SHORTLY AFTER THE ACCIDENT, REPORTED THE STUDENT PILOT TOLD HIM THAT HE WAS DOING SOME HOVER PRACTICE WHEN A STRONG WIND GUST CAUGHT THE HELICOPTER AND HE LOST CONTROL AND CRASHED. THE FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR WHO FLEW THE HELICOPTER LAST PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT FLIGHT SAID SHE HAD SECURED THE FRICTION LOCK ON THE COLLECTIVE AFTER HER FLIGHT. THE COLLECTIVE WAS FOUND IN THE FULL UP POSITION AT THE ACCIDENT SITE. A DIAGRAM OF THE ACCIDENT SITE INDICATES THE HELICOPTER WAS AIRBORNE FOR APPROXIMATELY 200 YARDS PRIOR TO IMPACT.

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

THE FIXED-WING STUDENT PILOT'S POOR JUDGEMENT IN ATTEMPTING TO FLY A ROTARY WING AIRCRAFT, AND THE SUBSEQUENT LOSS OF CONTROL IN-FLIGHT. THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE TRAINING IN ROTARY WING AIRCRAFT WAS A FACTOR.

Full narrative available

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