NTSB Identification: CEN09CA394
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 27, 2009 in Waxahachie, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/2009
Aircraft: SIDLER MIKE ROTORWAY, registration: N1934
Injuries: 1 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 private pilot was conducting a practice 180-degree power recovery autorotation in a helicopter with a clockwise rotating main rotor with a right crosswind of three knots. The pilot said he had a higher than expected rate of descent as he was flaring at zero airspeed and attempting a power recovery to terminate at a skid height of approximately 15 feet above ground level. Suddenly, and without warning the pilot lost directional control, the helicopter began to spin nose left, and his application of full right pedal had no effect. The pilot said he tried to keep the helicopter level while it was spinning, but it eventually impacted on the left side of the taxiway. The helicopter was substantially damaged when the left skid gear partially collapsed and the airframe and tail boom buckled. During the impact sequence the main rotor blades struck the tail boom and the main rotor blades and tail rotor blades struck the ground. An on-scene investigation by an FAA maintenance inspector confirmed flight control continuity and confirmed no apparent damage to the tail rotor drive belts. There was no post-crash fire and the pilot received minor injuries.

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

The pilot’s failure to control his rate of descent during autorotation, which required an aggressive recovery maneuver and resulted in a sudden loss of tail rotor effectiveness.

Full narrative available

Index for Jun2009 | Index of months