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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: WPR13CA155
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 17, 2013 in Chino Valley, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/18/2013
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N223G
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During descent for an off-airport pinnacle landing, the helicopter encountered a downdraft about 75 to 100 feet above ground level (agl), and the pilot receiving instruction increased collective input. The flight instructor advised the pilot receiving instruction to be less aggressive using the collective as the flight continued to the landing area. As the helicopter descended through about 10 to 25 feet agl, it encountered a second downdraft, and the pilot receiving instruction increased collective again, which was followed by a decrease in rotor rpm. The flight instructor took control of the helicopter as it contacted the ground and then became airborne again. The helicopter yawed to the right and landed upright on sloping terrain. Postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed that the tailboom was substantially damaged just aft of the fuselage attach point. The pilots reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot receiving instruction’s failure to maintain rotor rpm during the pinnacle landing. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor’s delayed remedial action.