On April 26, 2000, at 1713 hours Pacific daylight time, a Robinson R22 Beta, N622EH, was destroyed when it collided with rocks while maneuvering over the La Jolla Indian Reservation in San Diego County, California. The instructor pilot and student pilot both received serious injuries; the instructor pilot's injuries were fatal. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instructional flight operating under 14 CFR Part 91, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from private property about 1700, and was destined for Ramona Airport, Ramona, California, with maneuvers performed at the La Jolla Indian Reservation racetrack. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the student pilot, "I was a rated commercial pilot working toward my 20 hours of indoctrination into the aircraft. We were going to practice emergency procedures in the aircraft and get a little bit more familiar with flying it. I was flying the aircraft and we decided first to fly over the La Jolla Indian Reservation and take a look at the racetrack; I was going to be doing some future photography work in the helicopter for the motocross races there."
The student told the instructor to take the controls and fly a racetrack pattern over the track and make an aerial application type turn at the end of the track to reverse course. Then the student would try and duplicate the maneuver. As they changed controls from one another they would say, "You got it," or " Okay, I got it" to confirm the transition.
After the maneuvers were completed over the track, a critiquing took place while the student was flying in a hover. After the critiquing, the student reported that he told the instructor to fly us out of here and we will go over to Ramona.
According to the student, when the instructor took the controls he said, "I got it." About the same time, the student said that the helicopter drifted a little bit and lost a little altitude. The student got back on the controls and the instructor said "I got it" and he let go. The helicopter again drifted a little bit and the student saw through the lower bubble a rock sticking up out of the brush. The brush was about 5 feet high. The helicopter drifted over, the skid hit the rock, and the helicopter went into a dynamic rollover. A postaccident fire consumed major portions of the helicopter.
The Safety Board examined the wreckage after recovery with no anomalies discovered. The pilot stated in his report of the accident that there were no mechanical discrepancies.