NTSB Identification: CEN09CA157
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 06, 2009 in Cypress, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/12/2009
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N234LA
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.

While performing a 180-degree autorotation, the student pilot raised the collective in order to maintain the helicopter's rpms within normal parameters. At approximately 250 feet above ground level, the rotor rpm was allowed to decay to 95% at which time the helicopter began to sink. The lowest observed rpm was 85%. The certified flight instructor took control of the helicopter could not recover the helicopter prior to an impact with terrain. The helicopter landed hard and rolled onto its left side. Substantial crushing damage was sustained to the fuselage. Winds at the time of the accident were 190 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 30 knots.

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

The student pilot's failure to maintain adequate main rotor rpm and the instructor's delayed remedial action.

Full narrative available

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