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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA13LA104
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 02, 2013 in Tampa, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/07/2013
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N345VH
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The flight instructor and her student were practicing autorotations. The student entered a practice autorotation at 500 feet above ground level (agl) and at 70 knots. About 40 feet agl, the student bled off airspeed by flaring the helicopter. The student advanced the throttle, but the rpm started to decay. The instructor had her hands on the controls and added throttle to arrest the rpm decay. When the rpm continued to decay, she took the controls and performed a hovering autorotation. The helicopter impacted a grassy area next to the runway, bounced, and rolled over, coming to an immediate stop. The fuselage and main rotor sustained substantial damage. The flight instructor reported that there was excessive play in the left throttle and that she had reported the condition to the operator’s mechanic twice previously. Examination of the throttle system found it to be in an airworthy condition.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The student pilot’s delayed throttle application during the practice autorotation and the flight instructor’s lack of immediate remedial action, which resulted in a hard landing.