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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA15CA238
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Ronkonkoma, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/08/2015
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N86EH
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 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.

The flight instructor reported that he had given instructions to the student pilot to hover over a grass area on the airport property. The flight instructor stated the helicopter was "hovering 18 inches to 30 inches above the ground and then was lying on its side on the ground". The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main rotor, tail boom, and tail rotor drive shaft.

In a statement to the FAA, the flight instructor said he had given the controls to the student pilot. The student pilot started to over control the helicopter and it went into a pendulum motion. The helicopter came close to the ground and the right skid made contact with the ground, causing a dynamic rollover.

The flight instructor reported no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The student pilot's loss of control during a hover, which resulted in ground contact and a dynamic rollover. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor's lack of action to remediate the student pilot's control inputs and recover aircraft control.