NTSB Identification: LAX02LA243.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 30, 2002 in Fresno, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2004
Aircraft: Robinson R22 Beta, registration: N4074T
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 helicopter collided with the uneven ground and rolled over during a quick stop maneuver. After a series of maneuvers, the certified flight instructor (CFI) repositioned the helicopter and entered a quick stop demonstration for the student. He "misjudged the terrain and wind conditions" and the helicopter settled quickly to the ground. During the descent, the CFI raised the collective and the rotor rpm decreased. The helicopter impacted the ground, became airborne, and then impacted the ground a second time. During the impact sequence, the main rotor struck the tail boom. The helicopter came to rest on its left side. The accident site and helicopter wreckage were examined by an FAA inspector. He reported observing a series of ground scars and wreckage debris that extended for 195 feet and culminated in the main helicopter wreckage. The first identifiable ground scars consisted of two parallel thin scars in the ground on the crest of a hillock, which were dimensionally consistent with the right and left skids; the scars extended 36 feet and terminated at the edge of a wash. At a distance of 105 feet across the wash, ground scars consistent with the tail rotor and stinger assemblies were noted; the tail rotor gearbox and blade assembly, along with the most aft portion of the tail boom, were found at this point. For the remaining 54 feet uphill to the location of the main wreckage, other ground scars and wreckage debris consistent with the skids were located.

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

The failure of the flight instructor to ensure maintenance of an adequate terrain clearance altitude while performing low level maneuvers.

Full narrative available

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