NTSB Identification: LAX01LA058.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 14, 2000 in NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2001
Aircraft: Robinson R22 BETA, registration: N7189K
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

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

During the practice 180-degree autorotation landing, the helicopter touched down hard, the main rotor severed the tail boom, and the helicopter rolled on its side. The first pilot reported that, during four of six prior autorotations performed by the second pilot, it was necessary for the him to assume control of the helicopter and make power recoveries due to high landing flares, improper airspeed, and improper rotor rpm. During the seventh autorotation, the landing approach that resulted in the accident, the first pilot stated that the second pilot first let the main rotor rpm get too high, then too low, and then let airspeed get low. The first pilot again took control and applied engine power, but this time, as the ground approached more rapidly than before due to recovery from a low airspeed and low rpm condition, the second pilot "began to scream" and interfered with the first pilot's control by pulling up on the collective. The first pilot could not overpower him, the rotor rpm decayed further, and a hard landing resulted. The first pilot reported there were no mechanical problems with the helicopter. The second pilot reported that, as he initiated the final autorotation, the first pilot said "hold on, hold on," and the second pilot thought he was again taking the controls and relinquished them to him. As the helicopter continued the descent, the first pilot continued to say "hold on, hold on," and the second pilot became worried because the ground approached rapidly and the low rpm horn had been on for several seconds. When the second pilot realized they were going to crash and the first pilot wasn't doing anything to arrest the situation, he (the second pilot) took the controls and tried to flare and pulled full up collective to cushion the landing.

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

The pilot-in-command's inadequate supervision of the second pilot and delay taking control of the aircraft and implementing remedial action. A factor in the accident was the second pilot's interference with the pilot-in-command's operation of the collective flight control.

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