NTSB Identification: ERA10CA255
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 06, 2010 in West Palm Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/2011
Aircraft: HUGHES 500, registration: N5189K
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 certificated commercial helicopter pilot reported that he was practicing autorotations with a certificated flight instructor (CFI). The CFI stated that the first autorotation "went well," and ended with a "nice cushioned landing." During the second autorotation, the commercial pilot flared 100 feet above the ground and applied cyclic control to cushion the landing. The helicopter "settled abruptly," impacted the taxiway firmly, and bounced. A main rotor blade struck and partially severed the tail boom. No preaccident mechanical anomalies were noted with the helicopter.

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

The commercial pilot's improper flare during a simulated autorotation, which resulted in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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