NTSB Identification: MIA01LA101.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 16, 2001 in OKEECHOBEE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/2001
Aircraft: Robinson R22, registration: N666BH
Injuries: 2 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 certified flight instructor [CFI] was demonstrating a low-level simulated engine failure/autorotation to the student. According to the CFI's statement, on approach, at about 250ft above ground level, the CFI took the controls and entered an autorotation to demonstrate the importance of maintaining sufficient airspeed in case of an engine failure. He started the power recovery too late allowing the rotor rpm to decay and the heel of the skids to contact the ground hard rocking the helicopter forward followed by a loud bang as the main rotor blades struck and severed the tailboom.

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

an in-flight collision with the ground during a simulated engine failure, and autorotation, which resulted in the tailboom separating. A contributing factor in this accident was the pilot allowed the rotor rpm to decay which resulted in inadequate rotor rpm to cushion the helicopter onto the ground.

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