NTSB Identification: LAX05CA314.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 22, 2005 in Kamuela, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Robinson R22 Beta, registration: N82001
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While executing a practice 180-degree full touchdown autorotation, the helicopter landed hard, spreading the landing gear skids, and the main rotor blades flexed and chopped off the tailboom. The helicopter bounced into the air, landed again, and spun several times before coming to a stop. The student initiated the maneuver at 500 feet above ground level. He started the turn abeam the runway, and when they were 90 degrees into the turn, he noted his airspeed at 65 knots and rotor rpm at 105 percent. He increased the collective to keep the main rotor from over speeding as he continued the turn. The pilot leveled off and aligned the helicopter with the runway for landing. His flight instructor told him to lower the collective, which he did, as well as inputting aft cyclic to start the flare. The instructor took over the flight controls when it became evident that the student was unable to arrest the descent. The instructor made sure the helicopter was leveled and attempted to cushion the landing prior to ground contact. The instructor indicated that the combination of a higher descent rate, higher airspeed, and density altitude led to the accident. Both pilots reported that there were no mechanical anomalies. The airport was at an altitude of 2,671 feet mean sea level, and the calculated density altitude was 4,200 feet.

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

The student's misjudged landing flare, and the instructor's inadequate supervision and delayed remedial action. A factor in the accident was the high density altitude.

Full narrative available

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