NTSB Identification: NYC06TA190.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 02, 2006 in Louisville, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/27/2007
Aircraft: MD Helicopter Inc. 500N, registration: N520AP
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The flight instructor was providing initial helicopter training to the student, a commercial pilot with fixed wing ratings. The student, with the flight instructor "following closely" on the controls, was practicing approaches to a hover in an open field. After several approaches, they decided to practice a steep approach. About 600 feet above the ground the student began a stabilized approach at 40 knots indicated airspeed, and at a descent rate about 1,000 feet per minute. He then brought the helicopter to a hover about 5 to 10 feet above the ground. The helicopter hovered for between 5 and 15 seconds, before it "drop[ed] to the ground," and rolled onto its right side. The flight instructor further reported that prior to the accident, the helicopter was operating with "no indication of [a] mechanical problem," and the engine seemed to be producing power normally. A witness stated that as the helicopter got close to the ground, "it all of the sudden pitched nose down," and impacted the ground. Examination of the wreckage revealed that both right landing gear struts fractured in ductile overload, consistent with a single impact. Flight control continuity was established, with no anomalies noted.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter and the flight instructor's inadequate supervision, which resulted in a hard landing and subsequent rollover.

Full narrative available

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