NTSB Identification: LAX06CA001.
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Accident occurred Monday, October 03, 2005 in Tucson, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Robinson Helicopter Company R22 Beta, registration: N926SH
Injuries: 2 Minor.
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.
The helicopter touched down hard and rolled over following a practice 180-degree autorotation. The instructor pilot reported that he was having his student practice a number of autorotations for an upcoming check ride. During the last autorotation, the student rolled out of the turn; the helicopter slowed to 60 knots, and the low rotor rpm warning horn sounded and the caution light illuminated. The instructor called for a go-around about 80 feet above the ground, but the rotor rpm did not increase. He took control of the helicopter from the student and applied collective and forward cyclic to touchdown in a level pitch attitude. The helicopter impacted the ground and began sliding to the side. The right skid dug into the soft ground and the helicopter rolled over three times before coming to rest on its left side. The instructor and student reported no anomalies with the 218-hour helicopter prior to the event. The flight school that employed the instructor had a policy, which dictated that instructors were to perform practice autorotations at a controlled airport equipped with emergency response equipment; however, if they did not, they were supposed to recover from autorotations 500 feet above the ground.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the student pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and rotor rpm during a practice autorotation, and the instructor's failure to adequately monitor the maneuver, which resulted in a hard landing and roll over. Full narrative available
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