FTW00LA077
FTW00LA077

On January 27, 2000, at 0845 central standard time, a Robinson R22 Beta helicopter, N2330F, was substantially damaged during a hard landing following a loss of main rotor rpm near Sarita, Texas. The aircraft was registered to a private individual and operated by Mesquite Helicopter Services, Inc., of Alice, Texas. The commercial pilot and the passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 antelope hunting flight. The local flight originated from the Kennedy Ranch at 0820.

The helicopter's mission was to harvest Nilgai antelope. After the passenger shot a second Nilgai antelope, the pilot maneuvered the helicopter downwind at 50 knots and 70 feet agl, to lead the animal recovery vehicle to where the first antelope had fallen. The pilot executed a right turn to come to a hover over the antelope. As he started a "quick-stop, the engine began to lug down." He "rolled on the throttle, overriding the governor, and nosed [the helicopter] over while lowering the collective." The main rotor low rpm warning sounded about the time he applied forward cyclic. The helicopter was "gaining airspeed but the rpm kept declining." The pilot "milked" the collective; however, he was unable to regain rotor rpm. At about 3-5 feet agl, the rotor rpm was at 80 percent. The pilot leveled the helicopter and attempted a run-on landing. "As [the helicopter] hit the ground," a main rotor blade struck the tail boom, separating it at mid-length. The aircraft turned 90 degrees to the left and rolled over onto its left side.

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