NTSB Identification: FTW00LA077.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 27, 2000 in SARITA, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: Robinson R22 BETA, registration: N2330F
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's mission was to harvest Nilgai antelope. After the passenger shot a second Nilgai antelope, the pilot maneuvered the helicopter downwind at 50 knots and 70 feet agl, to lead the animal recovery vehicle to where the first antelope had fallen. The pilot executed a right turn to come to a hover over the antelope. As he started a 'quick-stop, the engine began to lug down.' He 'rolled on the throttle, overriding the governor, and nosed [the helicopter] over while lowering the collective.' The main rotor low rpm warning sounded about the time he applied forward cyclic. The helicopter was 'gaining airspeed but the rpm kept declining.' The pilot 'milked' the collective; however, he was unable to regain rotor rpm. At about 3-5 feet agl, the rotor rpm was at 80 percent. The pilot leveled the helicopter and attempted a run-on landing. The helicopter landed hard, and a main rotor blade struck the tail boom, separating it at mid-length.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain main rotor rpm, which resulted in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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