NTSB Identification: SEA02LA016.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 09, 2001 in Puyallup, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/24/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-200, registration: N9466K
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilots reported that while the accident aircraft was on downwind, a light helicopter (believed to be a Robinson R22) entered final approach. The flight instructor reported that the helicopter cleared the active runway "about one-half to one-quarter mile before our touchdown." The trainee stated that after clearing the runway, the helicopter moved right to the parallel taxiway, approximately 180 feet from the runway. The pilots reported that approximately 200 to 300 feet past the runway threshold, the aircraft suddenly rolled right, yawed right, and sank, and that despite control inputs to attempt to counter these motions, the aircraft touched down right-wing-low in the grass adjacent to the runway. The pilots elected to continue the landing rollout in the grass. During the landing rollout, the aircraft's nose gear failed. The instructor indicated that no mechanical malfunction or failure was involved in the accident. An R22 on the parallel taxiway at the north end of the airport is approximately 7 main rotor diameters from the runway, well outside the three main rotor diameters specified by the FAA Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) for rotor wash avoidance from a helicopter in a slow hover taxi or stationary hover. The accident aircraft's maximum gross weight is also approximately twice that of the R22. Dark night visual meteorological conditions, with calm winds, were reported by the flight instructor.

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

The pilots' failure to maintain aircraft control on short final, resulting in a touchdown off of the prepared landing surface. A factor was grassy terrain encountered on the landing rollout.

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