NTSB Identification: LAX00LA172.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 26, 2000 in SAN DIEGO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/2001
Aircraft: Robinson R22 BETA, registration: N622EH
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the student pilot, he was a rated commercial pilot working toward his 20 hours of indoctrination into the aircraft. 'We were going to practice emergency procedures in the aircraft and get a little bit more familiar with flying it.' The student was flying the helicopter and decided to fly over an Indian Reservation to look at their motocross track for future photography work in the helicopter. The student told the instructor to take the controls and fly a racetrack pattern over the track and make an aerial application type turn at the end of the track to reverse course. The student would then try and duplicate the maneuver. As they changed controls from one another they would say, 'You got it,' or ' Okay, I got it' to confirm the transition. After the maneuvers were completed over the track, a critiquing took place while the student was flying in a hover. After the critiquing the student reported that he told the instructor to fly us out of here and we will go over to Ramona. According to the student, when the instructor took the controls he said, 'I got it.' About the same time, the student said that the helicopter drifted a little bit and lost a little altitude. The student got back on the controls and the instructor said 'I got it' and he let go. The helicopter again drifted a little bit and the student saw through the lower bubble a rock sticking up out of the brush. The brush was about 5 feet high. The helicopter drifted over, the skid hit the rock, and the helicopter went into a dynamic rollover. The Safety Board examined the wreckage after recovery. There were no airframe or engine pre-accident discrepancies or mechanical malfunctions observed during the examination of the recovered remains.

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

The failure of the flight instructor to maintain control of the helicopter, resulting in skid contact with an obstacle and dynamic roll over.

Full narrative available

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