DEN07CA096
DEN07CA096

According to the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1), the flight instructor reported that he and student were going to practice night landings at Manhattan Regional Airport, Manhattan, Kansas. Prior to departure from runway 03, the instructor noted a military UH-60 helicopter operating near the runway. The helicopter maneuvered away from runway 03, and the airplane departed. As the airplane reached the traffic pattern altitude (1,900 feet mean sea level), the instructor overheard a second military helicopter pilot report he was on base leg for runway 03. During the legs of the traffic pattern, the instructor reported his position and intentions on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). The instructor reported on CTAF that he was turning for a one-half mile final to runway 03, and a military helicopter at the approach end of runway 03 appeared to proceed upwind. Based on his observations, the flight instructor continued on the visual approach to land. Approximately 200 feet above ground level (agl), the instructor noted that the helicopter did not depart, but was hovering 200 to 300 feet agl approximately 2/3 down the runway. Concerned about the risk of a mid-air collision during a go-around, the instructor decided to continued the landing. As the airplane crossed the runway 03 threshold, the instructor realized the helicopter was hovering at 200 feet agl near the 1,000 foot runway markers. The instructor reported, "As the main wheels touched down the aircraft was caught in a gust of wind from the outflow of the helicopter's rotor wash. The aircraft ballooned up approximately two feet above the runway and immediately caught down flow from the rotor wash which forced the aircraft to the ground. The main wheels struck the runway, followed by the nose wheel which collapsed on impact. The aircraft skidded approximately 25 feet before coming to rest." Examination of the airplane revealed that nose landing gear was separated, the firewall and aft fuselage were buckled. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured.

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