On September 25, 1999, approximately 1840 mountain daylight time, a Robinson R22, N8360J, operated by Ruesch Machines, was substantially damaged when it collided with powerlines while maneuvering 7 miles northeast of St. George, Utah. The pilot, the sole occupant aboard, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instructional flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated at St. George at 1730.

The private pilot, who held an airplane single-engine land rating, was practicing maneuvers in preparation for taking the private pilot-helicopter practical test. He decided to practice "quick stops," and flew to an uninhabited area. In his accident report the pilot wrote, "I was practicing the part where the helicopter is leveled out after the flare to slow down and just before you go to a hover. I knew there was a power line in the area, but I thought I was 200 yards away from it." As the pilot transitioned from a hover to forward flight, he saw the power line 120 feet ahead. He attempted to fly over the line, but snagged it with the skids. The helicopter fell 100 feet, landing on its right side.

Commenting on how the accident could have been prevented, the pilot wrote: "1. Not concentrating on the maneuver so intently that everything else is forgotten. 2. Never fly into the sun regardless of which way the wind is blowing. 3. Never fly near any power line."

In his accident report, the pilot indicated that his last flight review was done on February 23, 1995. According to Title 14 CFR Part 61, the pilot in command must have accomplished a flight review within the previous 24 calendar months [FAR 61.56(c)(1)]. If, however, "the pilot is undergoing training for a certificate and has a current solo endorsement as required under FAR 61.87," he is exempted from complying with that section [FAR 61.56(8)].

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