NTSB Identification: LAX07CA177.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 27, 2007 in Yerington, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/30/2007
Aircraft: MD Helicopters 500-E, registration: N526BH
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 landed hard while practicing a low altitude engine failure and autorotation. According to the CFI, the student had rolled off the throttle to flight idle in preparation for the maneuver. As the helicopter descended the CFI heard the engine spool down, but did not observe a split between the rotor and engine tachometer needles. He realized that the student had not completely bottomed out the collective, and he immediately took over the flight controls. He attempted to regain some of the decayed rotor rpm's by rolling the throttle to full flight rpm, lowering the collective, and raising the nose to build inertia in the blades; however, he realized that the engine did not have enough time to spool up. He then reduced the throttle to flight idle, leveled the skids, and used the pedals to control the yaw in preparation for the touchdown. The helicopter landed hard with forward speed, and came to rest upright. The CFI reported that the maneuver had been initiated at 100 feet agl, with a targeted recovery of 20 feet agl. The CFI said there were no mechanical anomalies noted with the helicopter.

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

The failure of the student and instructor to maintain an adequate main rotor rpm, and the instructor’s inadequate in-flight supervision while conducting a low-level simulated emergency procedure, which resulted in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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