NTSB Identification: ERA09LA173
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 24, 2009 in Moyock, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/2011
Aircraft: HUGHES 369F, registration: N5205C
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Minor.

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 purpose of the accident flight was to provide familiarization training in the MD-530 to an experienced and qualified helicopter pilot, recently hired by the company, before that new pilot’s deployment to Iraq. The certificated flight instructor (CFI) chose to demonstrate one-skid and toe-in landings/confined area landing technique on a ship simulator. The maneuver was beyond basic familiarization procedures and the site chosen by the flight instructor was not approved for familiarization training. The student pilot stated that the CFI did a circling pattern around the simulators to make sure that they were clear. Then he started an approach to the top rail. When they got close to touching down the student leaned forward and looked at the toe of the skid and saw it was under the top rail. He was reaching for the press to talk button to tell the CFI when the helicopter flipped over the railing and into a stairwell.

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

The flight instructor's failure to verify that the helicopter's skid was clear of an obstruction while demonstrating a one-skid and toe-in landing maneuver. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor's decision to practice this maneuver at an unauthorized landing site.

Full narrative available

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