NTSB Identification: CEN12CA009
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 04, 2011 in Hibbing, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/2011
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N4170M
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 student held a private pilot certificate with a helicopter rating and was receiving instruction toward a commercial helicopter pilot certificate when the accident occurred. According to the instructor, the student pulled aft cyclic too early while beginning a landing flare following a practice autorotation. This resulted in an increase in main rotor rpm and a decrease in airspeed. The instructor then adjusted the throttle in an attempt to decrease the rpm. The instructor stated that the student then applied excessive left pedal, which resulted in the helicopter making a 180-degree turn while the helicopter was six feet above the ground. The instructor stated that he then decreased the collective and put the helicopter on the ground before the situation worsened. The helicopter contacted the ground as it skidded backward, resulting in substantial damage to the tail boom.

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

The private pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter during the landing flare.

Full narrative available

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