NTSB Identification: NYC08LA043
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 24, 2007 in Suffolk, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/14/2009
Aircraft: Robinson R22, registration: N442FA
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot was circling the helicopter near friends, about 600 feet above the ground. After a few turns, as he was departing the area, the pilot noticed that the clutch light was illuminated. About 5 seconds later, he pulled the clutch circuit breaker. At the same time, the engine's rpm "sharply" increased and the main rotor rpm alarm sounded. The pilot immediately lowered the collective and "rolled on the throttle" in an attempt to increase rotor rpm. When that failed, the pilot performed an autorotation to the ground; however, during the descent, he was unable to bring the rotor rpm back into the "green" range. The helicopter landed hard, the skids spread, and a main rotor blade impacted the tail boom. Postaccident examination of the helicopter drive system revealed that the V-drive belts had rolled off the sheaves, but the reason they did so could not be determined.

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

The V-drive belts' rolling off the sheaves for undetermined reasons, resulting in a loss of power to the rotor system, and the pilot's failure to maintain adequate rotor rpm during the autorotation, resulting in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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