NTSB Identification: LAX07CA043.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 21, 2006 in Santa Clarita, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/2007
Aircraft: Robinson R22 Beta, registration: N994HV
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.

The helicopter rolled onto its side while performing a practice autorotation. The instructor said he determined the direction of the wind by comparing the indicated airspeed to the global positioning satellite displayed speed, and by observing dust behind a tractor operating in a field below. Both indicators verified that the wind was from the east. After the student demonstrated several maneuvers, the instructor decided to have him practice autorotations. He again confirmed that the wind was from the east. The instructor and student positioned the helicopter facing into the direction they believed the wind was coming from and began a practice autorotation. The helicopter descended, and they began the flare portion of the maneuver about 40 feet above ground level (agl). Despite their control inputs (adding throttle and raising the collective), the helicopter continued the descent, and settled toward the ground. The aft portion of the skids first touched down on the sandy surface, and the helicopter continued forward with very little airspeed. It pivoted about the right skid, rolled over, and came to rest on its right side. The instructor reported that after egressing the helicopter, he noted the wind had changed directions in the midst of the practice autorotation and they had performed the autorotation with a tail wind. He noted no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter prior to impact. Another helicopter pilot, who was practicing in the vicinity, stated that he noticed a wind shift around the time of the accident.

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

the student pilot's inadequate compensation for wind conditions and the instructor's failure to arrest the descent, which resulted in a dynamic rollover. Also causal was the inadequate supervision by the instructor. A factor in the accident was the wind shift to a tail wind condition.

Full narrative available

Index for Nov2006 | Index of months