NTSB Identification: FTW00LA014.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 21, 1999 in JONESBORO, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/22/2000
Aircraft: Robinson R22 BETA, registration: N2301C
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 helicopter-rated student performed a takeoff, and at 500 feet agl, the flight instructor 'initiated a throttle roll-off.' The student then entered an autorotation, during which time the instructor was 'riding the controls.' Approximately 250 feet agl, the low rotor horn sounded, and the low rotor light illuminated. The flight instructor reported that the student decreased the collective, 'but it was too small of an amount too late.' The flight instructor then initiated a go-around and 'released back pressure on the cyclic, decreased the collective, and rolled the throttle on, but the engine did not respond. The engine needle remained at idle.' The helicopter was descending through 75 feet agl when the flight instructor 'lowered the collective and initiated a hard flare.' The helicopter impacted the ground, and the main rotor blades contacted and severed the tail boom. The engine was test run and operated within the manufacturer's specifications.

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

The flight instructor's delay in taking remedial action to recover from a low rotor rpm situation. A factor was the student's failure to maintain adequate rotor rpm.

Full narrative available

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