NTSB Identification: LAX01LA125.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 21, 2001 in Long Beach, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2001
Aircraft: Robinson R22B, registration: N8492A
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.

During an autorotation, the pilot made a hard landing and the tail boom was severed. The purpose of the flight was to conduct pattern work, and takeoffs and landings to prepare the private pilot for his commercial pilot practical test flight. During the flight the private pilot was on the flight controls, with the CFI monitoring the flight. No discrepancies were noted with the first two takeoffs and landings. During the first autorotation, the CFI noted that the student allowed the airspeed to fall below 60 knots, and that the rotor rpm was moving outside the top of the green arc. He instructed the student to maintain airspeed at 65 knots until close to the ground, and to raise the collective to maintain rotor rpm inside the green arc. On the second autorotation, the CFI noted that the student maintained rotor rpm inside the green arc, but let the airspeed fall below 58 knots. The low rotor rpm warning horn sounded and the caution light illuminated. Due to the close proximity of the helicopter to the ground, a flare for landing was initiated. The CFI came up on the controls and noted that the collective was higher than normal. Prior to touchdown the CFI applied forward pressure on the cyclic to maintain a level attitude after touchdown. The helicopter landed hard and slid across the ground before coming to rest in a grassy area next to the helipad. The CFI noted that after coming to a stop he attempted to move the anti-torque pedals, but did not receive a response.

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

Failure of the CFI to adequately monitor the flight, which resulted in a low airspeed autorotation and hard landing.

Full narrative available

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