On October 19, 2001, at 1630 eastern daylight time, a Bell 47G-2 helicopter, N840WA, piloted by a certified flight instructor (CFI) and dual student, was substantially damaged on impact with terrain and subsequent fire while hovering at the Clark County Airport, Jeffersonville, Indiana. The student was the holder of a private pilot certificate with a helicopter rating. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions and was not on a flight plan. The CFI and student received minor injuries. The local flight originated at 1540.

In a written report, the dual student said that they were practicing rudder turns. He said that he raised up to a hover, rotated 90 degrees and then set the helicopter back down on the ground. He said he then raised up to a hover again and rotated 90 degrees with the helicopter facing downwind. He said that the helicopter seemed somewhat unstable in the gusty tailwind. He said that the helicopter came up in the front and then he felt a vibration in the tail. He said that the helicopter turned and the left skid impacted the ground and the helicopter rolled onto its left side.

In a written report, the CFI said that, after a rudder turn when the helicopter was facing downwind, the student, "...very abruptly pitched the nose up reacting to the wind behind him. The abrupt pitch attitude allowed the tail to strike the ground." The CFI said that the aircraft was uncontrollable at that point and ultimately rolled onto its left side.

A weather reporting station located about 9 miles and 157 degrees from the accident site recorded the winds as 10 knots gusting to 18 knots from 230 degrees at 1553.

A postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed no anomalies that could be associated with a pre-impact condition. The report filed by the CFI listed no mechanical malfunction.

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