NTSB Identification: NYC01LA086.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 19, 2001 in Keene, NH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2001
Aircraft: Robinson R-22B, registration: N910SM
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.
The student pilot was practicing hovering autorotations with a flight instructor onboard. They were performing the practice in an open field next to a runway. At the rear of the field behind the helicopter was a snowbank with an irregular line. There was a wind of about 10 knots on the nose of the helicopter. During each hovering autorotation, the helicopter ended up further aft than the preceding one. The flight instructor looked out of his left door and based upon the part of the snowbank that he could see, he thought he had about 50-75 feet to the snow bank. However, he was unaware that the left rear skid was already under the crust of the snowbank directly behind the helicopter. He took control of the helicopter with the intent of repositioning it to the middle of the field. When the flight instructor applied the collective to lift off, the helicopter pivoted on the left rear skid, and rolled over on its left side. The flight instructor reported the accident could have been prevented had he maintained better situational awareness of the snowbank in the field where they were practicing, and if he had used a two stage pickup, where he first made the helicopter light on the skids, and then applied the collective to lift off more slowly.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: inadequate visual lookout by the flight instructor on the helicopter's proximity to the snowbank, and subsequent lift off, which resulted in a dynamic rollover.
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