NTSB Identification: LAX01LA190.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 23, 2001 in Murietta, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/28/2001
Aircraft: Robinson R22B, registration: N2352G
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.

The instructor had just completed 30 minutes of hover practice with the student. The student landed the helicopter and the instructor deplaned to allow the student to execute his first solo flight. As the instructor watched, the student began to liftoff and immediately rolled to the right and crashed. According to the instructor, the helicopter never left the ground. The student had logged approximately 29 hours of dual instruction in the R22 prior to the accident. The instructor stated that he had done many pickups and set downs with the student just prior to the accident. He emphasized the differences in flight characteristics that the student would experience when the instructor was not in the helicopter. He explained that he had covered dynamic rollover situations in ground school sessions, including a Robinson factory training videotape on the subject. The instructor normally occupied the left seat of the helicopter during dual lessons. At the time of the accident, the student was occupying the right seat, and the left seat was empty. The solo flight was conducted on an asphalt helicopter landing pad. Inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration found no evidence of preaccident mechanical failure. The helipad was inspected and found to be clean, smooth, and free of obstructions. The instructor weighed 185 pounds, and the helicopter had consumed 30 pounds of fuel prior to the attempted solo flight. This made the helicopter 215 pounds lighter than the student was accustomed to. If the student did not exercise extreme caution to liftoff very slowly and deliberately, with the cyclic centered, a dynamic rollover would be very likely to occur. With an excessive input of collective, the helicopter at a light takeoff weight and the cyclic even slightly off center, the roll would be extremely rapid and nearly impossible to arrest.

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

The solo student's improper use of the flight controls that resulted in a dynamic rollover during the attempted takeoff.

Full narrative available

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