NTSB Identification: CEN09CA067
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 19, 2008 in Erie, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/24/2008
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 Beta II, registration: N221DS
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 pilot, who was also a certified helicopter flight instructor, was demonstrating a 180-degree autorotation to the flight instructor as part of a flight review. While on final glide approximately 100 feet above ground level (agl), the landing checks were complete to include: rotor RPM in the green arc, airspeed at 60 knots, and the landing skids aligned with runway. Approximately 60 feet agl, the rotor RPM was at the bottom of the green arc, and the flight instructor expected the pilot to initiate a flare; however, the flare was "very mild, if none, with little reduction in aircraft speed and rate of descent." Subsequently, the flight instructor "hesitated" in taking the helicopter controls and the helicopter landed hard and skidded down the runway. During the hard landing, the main rotor blades severed the tail boom. Examination of the airframe revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operations.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's improper flare during the practice autorotation which resulted in a hard landing. Contributing factors were the flight instructor's delayed remedial action and inadequate supervision. Full narrative available
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