NTSB Identification: ERA13LA104
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 02, 2013 in Tampa, FL
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N345VH
Injuries: 2 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 January 2, 2013, about 1800 eastern standard time, a Robinson R22 Beta, N345VH, was substantially damaged following a practice autorotation on runway 22 at Peter O Knight Airport (TPF), Tampa, Florida. The flight instructor and a student pilot were not injured. The helicopter was operated by Helicopter Academy under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated at Clearwater, Florida (PIE) about 1745.
The flight instructor reported that she landed at PIE to pick up her student and proceeded to TPF for approaches and practice autorotations. The first autorotation was uneventful. During the second attempt, she flared at 40 feet to bleed off airspeed, then added throttle, but the rpm continued to decay. The helicopter impacted the ground, bounced, and rolled onto its right side before coming to a stop.
A Federal Aviation Administration inspector responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The inspector confirmed substantial damage to the airframe. Both main rotor blades were bent in several places. The engine firewall was buckled. The tail boom was crushed at the fuselage attachment point and the horizontal stabilizer was bent about 90 degrees. The flight instructor reported to the inspector that there was excessive “play” in the left throttle and she had reported the condition to the operator’s maintenance personnel previously.
Recorded weather at PTF at the time of the accident included calm surface wind.
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