NTSB Identification: WPR12FA298
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 09, 2012 in Murrieta, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2013
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N7527Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During an instructional flight, the student pilot reported that the instructor was demonstrating a “fast landing” approach to a hill. The instructor subsequently positioned the helicopter in a 3- to 4-foot hover above the ground and heading into the wind, then initiated a left pedal turn and started to lift off. The student stated that the helicopter suddenly rolled rapidly to the right and the main rotor blades contacted the ground, which resulted in a rollover. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The terrain surrounding the accident site was covered with sporadic patches of sagebrush ranging from 1 to 4 feet high. It is likely that the helicopter contacted brush as the pilot performed the left hovering turn, which resulted in a dynamic rollover.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from high vegetation while making a hovering turn, which resulted in a dynamic rollover.

Full narrative available

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