NTSB Identification: DEN01LA067.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 11, 2001 in BUFFALO, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/19/2001
Aircraft: Robinson R22 BETA, registration: N144MB
Injuries: 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.

Approximately 20 minutes after takeoff on a cross-country flight, the pilot noticed the clutch light was on and he smelled burning rubber. The pilot conducted a power on autorotation and at approximately 50 feet above the ground, he heard a loud "pop" and the aircraft "dropped" to the ground, skidded about 15 feet, and rolled over on its side when a skid collapsed. Inspection revealed that the upper clutch actuator bearing had failed. All required inspections regarding the bearing assembly had been performed. Procedures used by the manufacturer require both the pilot and mechanic to listen for unusual bearing noise at specific intervals.

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

failure of the rotor drive system clutch assembly which rendered the aircraft uncontrollable.

Full narrative available

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