NTSB Identification: MIA05LA080.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 19, 2005 in Homestead, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Robinson R44, registration: N1ZP
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 certified flight instructor stated that the student had performed 11 previous autorotative landings with power recovery on that particular flight, the accident being the 12th. The student initiated the maneuver from an altitude of approximately 500 feet, at an indicated airspeed of between 65-75 knots. He maintained 65 knots during the descent, and when the flight was approximately 75 feet above ground level (agl), he flared. The autorotation continued and when the flight was approximately 20 feet agl at an indicated airspeed of approximately 20 knots, the student added power, but the helicopter yawed to the left. The certified flight instructor (CFI) got on the controls and when the flight was approximately 10 feet agl, and at an indicated airspeed between 10 and 20 knots, he pulled collective but the helicopter impacted on grass right skid low. The helicopter then pivoted 90 degrees to the right, and rolled onto its right side. The student pilot reported that he departed to perform another practice autorotative landing and when the flight was on the downwind leg abeam runway 36, he applied carburetor heat, checked for annunciation lights, and the intended touchdown area. He announced his intentions on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), turned base and final, slowed to approximately 70 knots, questioned if the CFI was ready, counted to three, and entered the maneuver at approximately 500 feet. He applied right anti-torque pedal input, aft cyclic control, and maintained approximately 65 to 70 knots during the descent keeping the main rotor rpm at approximately 100 percent. He flared when the flight was approximately 50 to 60 feet, slowed to a walking speed, continued descending, leveled the helicopter, and applied throttle input to recover to a hover. He looked back in the cockpit and noted the CFI grab the controls. The helicopter contacted the grass and rolled onto its right side. He further reported that he did not hear the low rotor warning horn, could not recall if the helicopter yawed when he applied power to recover, and was surprised to see the CFI grab the controls. Postaccident the engine was operated in a test stand with a test club installed; no discrepancies were noted.

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

The CFI's inadequate supervision of the student during the instructional flight for his failure to stop an excessive rate of descent which resulted in a hard landing following a reported loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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