On February 22, 2005, approximately 0840 mountain standard time, a Robinson Helicopter Company R22, N780SH, operated by Silver State Helicopters, Inc. was substantially damaged during a hard landing at Spanish Fork-Springville Airport (U77), Spanish Fork, Utah. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The instructional flight was being operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The flight instructor and his student reported no injuries. The local flight originated at 0730. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the accident report submitted by the flight instructor, he and his private certificated student were practicing 180 degree simulated autorotation maneuvers at U77. The first two maneuvers were performed on runway 12 at 800 feet agl, airspeed 70 knots. As they set up the helicopter for the third simulated autorotation, the instructor noted that the altitude was 700 feet agl and he explained to the student that he "would have to turn it a little bit tighter due to the 100' less of altitude." In the last 90 degrees of turn, the student "allowed the nose to drop and the airspeed increased to 80 knots." The student flared for landing and the "helicopter began to cavitate." The instructor assumed control, trying to dissipate airspeed and decrease the high rate of descent that had developed. As the instructor continued the flare, the helicopter shutter increased and rate of sink continued. The instructor applied forward cyclic and the helicopter contacted the runway and bounced approximately 10 feet into the air. The instructor then hovered the helicopter to a safe location where the engine could be shut down.
The tail boom was bent down during the impact, wrinkling the bottom portion of the number 2 bay. Both skid cross tubes were bent up towards the fuselage and aft. A post-accident examination of the helicopter systems, conducted by the FAA, revealed no anomalies.