On February 12, 2003, about 1441 eastern standard time, a Robinson R-22 helicopter, N74842, registered to and operated by Pompano Helicopters Inc., as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight, rolled over at Pompano Beach Airpark, Pompano Beach, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company visual flight rules flight plan had been filed. The student pilot received minor injuries, and the helicopter incurred substantial damage. The flight was originating at the time of the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The student stated that he was getting ready to take off on his first solo flight and he heard a conversation about another helicopter landing close to where he was positioned, and decided to wait before taking off. He further stated that the collective was "down", and the governor was "on." He said the helicopter was not light on the skids and thinks that it yawed left and then right, but added that he was unsure. He said all he remembered was trying to switch the main switch off, while in the helicopter, with it laying on its side.
A witness said that he was watching the accident helicopter at first but noted two Jet Ranger helicopters approaching, and shifted his attention to the Jet Rangers, taking pictures of them. He said when he again looked at the accident helicopter he saw it spinning with the skids on the ground at least two times, while remaining over the takeoff spot. He said the accident helicopter then lifted off the ground approximately one foot while in a spin, and flew backwards, and to the left, flipping over on the left side.
A flight instructor who was supervising the solo flight stated that he observed accident helicopter from his position external to the helicopter, and saw the two large helicopters as they approached. He said he observed the accident helicopter begin a right yaw, and the student pilot loosing control. After the accident helicopter settled, he said he observed fuel coming from the helicopter with it laying on its right side, and he issued instructions to the student, assisted him in exiting the helicopter.
The pilot of one of the Jet Ranger helicopters which was approaching at the time of the accident said that as he approached, he observed a person in the accident helicopter, and the accident helicopter was operating while sitting on the ramp. He further stated that he saw the accident helicopter "rotate (spin) counterclockwise", and after approximately two 360-degree turns, it became airborne and continued to rotate for about two more revolutions, before rolling over, and coming to rest on the ground, on its right side.
The other Jet Ranger helicopter pilot stated that he had finished a hover, and was taxiing to land his helicopter on a dolly when he observed the accident helicopter "pick up" from the ramp. He said that before the accident helicopter was airborne it began to yaw to the left and then it lifted off the ground, still spinning to the left. He said it started to pitch forward and aft, and had risen to about one to two and a half feet off the ground, while still moving rearward. The accident then struck the ground with the skids, bounced, and while still spinning, rolled over to the right about 25 feet behind where it had lifted off.