NTSB Identification: ERA09TA440
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 04, 2009 in Jacksonville, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/2011
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS 350B3, registration: N186AE
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

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

The certified flight instructor and a commercial pilot receiving instruction were practicing maneuvers in the helicopter with the hydraulic system turned off, to simulate a hydraulic system failure. The commercial pilot was conducting a practice approach to a runway, with a transition to a hover. As the helicopter approached 5 feet above the ground, the commercial pilot began to lose directional control of the helicopter. The flight instructor assumed control; however, the helicopter entered multiple revolutions, climbs, and descents before it contacted the ground, spun, and rolled over. The fuselage, tail rotor and main rotor drive systems were substantially damaged. Examination of the helicopter did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions; nor did either pilot report any mechanical abnormalities. According to the helicopter manufacturer's flight manual training supplement, hovering without hydraulic power was not an approved procedure and would result in "excessive pilot workload, poor aircraft control, and possible loss of control."

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

The flight instructor's improper decision to attempt hover flight without hydraulic power and his subsequent loss of control.

Full narrative available

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