NTSB Identification: LAX04LA314.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Sunday, September 05, 2004 in North Las Vegas, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/28/2006
Aircraft: Robinson R22 Beta, registration: N994RW
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 hit the ground hard during a practice autorotation and rolled over. The accident occurred during the 7th approach to the runway. An on-duty air traffic controller observed the helicopter perform what he described as a very steep approach to the runway. The helicopter's descent rate did not appear to significantly decrease, whereupon it impacted the ground and rolled over. The instructor said that after the student improperly initiated the autorotation, he told his student that he had the controls. The student let go of the controls, and the instructor commenced the 180-degree turn toward the runway. The instructor said he intended to complete the maneuver by performing a power recovery and a go-around. The instructor said that as he rolled out of the turn and attempted the power recovery, he realized that he had accumulated a huge descent rate that did not seem to stabilize after leveling out at approximately 15 feet above ground level (agl). The helicopter was still descending very fast when he pulled aft cyclic and attempted to roll the throttle on and raise the collective, but before he could complete the flare, the helicopter hit the ground, slid for approximately 200 to 300 feet, and rolled over.

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

The certified flight instructor's misjudged flare and delayed recovery from the practice autorotation.

Full narrative available

Index for Sep2004 | Index of months