NTSB Identification: WPR12LA267
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 17, 2012 in Scottsdale, AZ
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N808WH
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 17, 2012, at 1045 hours mountain standard time, a Robinson Helicopter Company, R44 II, N808WH, landed hard following an autorotation near Scottsdale, Arizona. SkyBlue Helicopters, LLC., operated the helicopter as an introduction flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The certificated commercial pilot and two passengers were not injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom and fuselage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight that departed the Scottsdale Airport (SDL), Scottsdale. No flight plan had been filed.

According to the pilot’s written statement, he was demonstrating an autorotation; he started the maneuver at 800 feet above ground level (agl), and initiated a recovery at 100 feet agl. The pilot stated that he initiated the flare and rolled on the power for a power recovery. The engine rpm’s remained at an idle power setting and did not increase as anticipated. The pilot stated that the rotor rpm’s started to decay, and he attempted to regain the rpm’s by lowering the collective and continuing to roll on the throttle. When the rpm’s did not “come back, an autorotation to the ground was completed.” The pilot reported that he had pulled collective to cushion the landing, and the helicopter contacted the soft ground; coming to a rest on its left side after it rolled forward and the main rotor blades struck the ground. He further reported that the tail boom had been severed during the accident sequence. The pilot turned off the main power switch and positioned the main fuel shut off to the OFF position. The pilot and passengers exited the helicopter from the pilot’s side door.

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