ERA10LA172
ERA10LA172

On March 11, 2010, about 0830 eastern daylight time, a Hughes 369D, N8618F, was substantially damaged following a landing at Naples Municipal Airport (APF), Naples, Florida. The certificated commercial pilot and airline transport pilot-rated check pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local instructional flight, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to complete a yearly check ride, which included all basic flight maneuvers and autorotations to landing. On the third autorotation, after touch-down, the pilot heard a "thud" and "no longer had use of the anti-torque pedals." The check pilot visually observed damage to the tail section. The helicopter was shut down and both pilots exited normally. The pilot stated that upon further inspection, it appeared that "one or more of the rotor blades had struck the tail boom and severed the tail."

The pilot also noted that the accident could have been prevented if the cyclic was "forward to neutral on and after touchdown."

The APF automated weather observation, at 0853, reported winds from 130 degrees at 12 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, overcast clouds at 1,500 feet, temperature 22 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 20 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.83 inches of mercury.

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