NTSB Identification: WPR12TA436
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Monday, September 24, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/2014
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS HELI CO 369FF, registration: N911BL
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 pilot-in-command (PIC), who was giving instruction, was demonstrating a 270-degree autorotation in a gusting west wind at a density altitude of about 5,100 feet. The PIC began the autorotation heading south and turned left; the helicopter experienced a tailwind during the turn. The PIC reported that, because of the tailwind, soon after commencing the autorotation, he increased his bank angle to maintain his ground reference to the intended touchdown point. The pilot receiving instruction stated that, moments later, the helicopter was in a high descent rate, and its airspeed was decreasing. The helicopter impacted terrain in a tail-low attitude. Subsequently, the tailboom separated from the fuselage, the helicopter rolled onto its right side, and the right landing skid folded under the fuselage.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain sufficient airspeed while performing a 270-degree practice autorotation with a gusting tailwind at a high-density altitude.

Full narrative available

Index for Sep2012 | Index of months