On June 14, 2002, about 0900 Pacific daylight time, a Robinson R22 Beta, N7041B, collided with the ground, while attempting a downwind takeoff from a remote practice site near the North Las Vegas Airport (VGT), North Las Vegas, Nevada. Mander Associated LLC was operating the helicopter under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and student pilot were not injured; the helicopter sustained substantial damage. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. The local instructional flight originated VGT about 0830. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a written statement, the CFI reported that, after several successful practice takeoffs and landings, the student pilot was attempting to takeoff in the practice area. During takeoff, the student turned the helicopter downwind. The CFI took the controls and maneuvered the helicopter back into the wind. The student failed to relinquish the controls and began raising the collective. The CFI overpowered the student, and lowered the collective. The helicopter touched down. The student lifted the collective again, and the helicopter became airborne. After repeating this sequence, the CFI forced the collective down and held it in the lowered position.
The helicopter contacted the ground and moved sideways, bouncing to a stop. It slowly began to move backwards, and the aft portion of the right skid dug into the rough terrain. The helicopter rolled on its right side. The CFI recalled the duration of the accident was about 3 to 5 seconds. He did not report any mechanical problems with the helicopter prior to the accident.
The Robinson Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) for the R22, Section 10- Safety Tips, Revision 10i, states that making a downwind takeoff could result in a loss of transitional lift and cause the helicopter to settle into ground obstacles.