NTSB Identification: LAX00LA089.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Sunday, January 30, 2000 in HANA, MAUI, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Robinson R22B, registration: N62DF
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.

During landing approach at the completion of a solo cross-country flight, the student pilot was slowing below 30 knots to enter a hover when the helicopter began spinning to the right. The student was unable to arrest the right yaw and entered an autorotation, which terminated in a rotating collision with terrain 137 feet short of the runway. He was attempting to land with a left crosswind and/or quartering tailwind from a direction and at a speed conducive to a tail rotor vortex ring state condition. The condition results in tail rotor thrust variations, which can require rapid and continuous pedal movements to maintain heading and cause unanticipated right yaw rates to develop. If the yaw rate is not controlled immediately, the helicopter can rotate into a wind azimuth region where weather cock instability will accelerate the right yaw. This condition will be aggravated at airspeeds below 30 knots when the loss of translational lift results in an increased power demand (more torque) and a corresponding increase in antitorque requirement. The student's total flying experience and pilot-in-command time was about 60.6 and 5.2 hours, respectively.

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

The student's failure to maintain directional control after encountering a tail rotor vortex ring state induced right yaw.

Full narrative available

Index for Jan2000 | Index of months