NTSB Identification: IAD05LA112.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 31, 2005 in Mount Holly, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/28/2006
Aircraft: Schweizer 269C, registration: N399HF
Injuries: 2 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.

Prior to the helicopter instructional flight, the flight instructor and the student pilot discussed a loss of engine power during takeoff. The student pilot, who had not previously performed the maneuver, thought the flight instructor was going to demonstrate it. During the flight, while the helicopter was climbing through 400-500 feet, the flight instructor advised the student of the pending simulated engine failure, and "rolled down" the throttle. The helicopter commenced an autorotation, with the flight instructor thinking the student pilot was at the controls, and the student pilot thinking the flight instructor was at the controls. During the autorotation, when the helicopter appeared to be headed for some trees, "the collective was raised to extend the glide, but the rotor rpm was decreasing and the forward airspeed had slowed also." The helicopter cleared the trees, but at 60 feet above the ground, the rotor rpm was below the power off range. The flight instructor then "got on the controls, lowered the collective, rolled on the throttle, and flared the helicopter." The helicopter continued its descent, the tail hit the ground, and the helicopter impacted the ground in a level attitude, then rolled over.

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

The flight instructor's delayed remedial action. A factor was the flight instructor's failure to ensure that both pilots knew who was performing the maneuver.

Full narrative available

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