NTSB Identification: LAX04TA248.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 23, 2004 in Lancaster, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2004
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N305FD
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

The helicopter landed hard and rolled on its side during a practice autorotation. The CFI and pilot-undergoing-instruction (PUI) were practicing a 180-degree autorotation. The PUI rolled out onto final at 400 feet agl. The PUI said that about 70 feet agl he leveled the helicopter, rolled in throttle, and started his flare. About 50 feet agl, he leveled in the flare because the helicopter "did not feel like it was building energy" and was not as effective in the flare. The rotor rpm was at 100 percent. He noted that there seemed to be not enough engine power to recover. He leveled the aircraft to get out of the flare and raised the collective. The low rotor horn sounded shortly after. The helicopter landed hard, bounced, spun around, hit the ground again, and rolled over on its right side. The Los Angeles City Fire Department "flare autorotations" procedure states "At approximately 75 feet from the ground, you begin your flare by applying a smooth pressure on the cyclic, flaring the ship at the right altitude and leveling the ship from a flare require quick but smooth movement of the cyclic...You will lost some altitude coming out of the flare but the ship should be level by the time you reach 10 feet." An engine teardown was conducted, with no anomalies found. The fuel control and governor bench tested to specifications.

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

The pilot's misjudged autorotative flare and the flight instructor's delayed remedial action and inadequate supervision of the flight.

Full narrative available

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