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NTSB Final Report Released: Prescott, AZ

Location:

Prescott, AZ

Accident Number:

WPR16LA156

Date & Time:

08/02/20161027 MST

Registration:

N22UH

Aircraft:

ROBINSON R22

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Defining Event:

Loss of control in flight

Injuries:

2 Minor

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional


Analysis

The flight instructor and student pilot were practicing straight-in autorotations in the helicopter. During the autorotative descent, about 400 ft above ground level with the student at the controls, the instructor noticed a high rate of descent and a decay in main rotor rpm. The instructor told the student that he had the controls and started applying collective and throttle to recover rpm. He felt the collective go up and again told the student that he had the controls. The instructor was unable to arrest the descent before the helicopter landed hard and rolled over. The instructor reported that there were no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation. He further stated that the accident could have been prevented if he had stayed ahead of his student and the helicopter.

Probable Cause and Findings
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The flight instructor's delayed remedial action to address a low rotor rpm condition, which resulted in an excessive descent rate and a subsequent hard landing.

Findings

Aircraft

Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues

Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)

Monitoring other person - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)

Delayed action - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)



Factual Information
On August 2, 2016, about 1027 mountain standard time (MST), a Robinson R22 helicopter, N22UH, landed hard at Ernest A Love Field Airport, Prescott, Arizona. The certificated flight instructor and student pilot received minor injuries. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and the tail boom. The helicopter was registered to Alba Leasing Services and operated by Universal Helicopters under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight departed Prescott, Arizona, about 0950.

The student pilot and the flight instructor were practicing straight in autorotations. During the glide, with the student pilot at the controls, about 400 feet above ground level, the flight instructor noticed a fast rate of decent and a decay in rotor RPM. The flight instructor stated to the student that he had the controls and started applying collective and throttle control to recover RPM. The instructor felt the collective go up and stated again to the student that he had the controls. The flight instructor was unable to arrest the decent or recover RPM prior to the hard landing. During touchdown, the landing skids collapsed, the main rotor blades connected with and severed the tail boom. The helicopter came to rest on its left side.

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

History of Flight

Autorotation

Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Landing

Hard landing

 

 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate:

Flight Instructor; Commercial

Age:

34, Male

Airplane Rating(s):

 

Seat Occupied:

Left

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Helicopter

Restraint Used:

3-point

Instrument Rating(s):

Helicopter

Second Pilot Present:

No

Instructor Rating(s):

Helicopter

Toxicology Performed:

No

Medical Certification:

Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

02/26/2014

Occupational Pilot:

Yes

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

10/02/2014

Flight Time:

1119.4 hours (Total, all aircraft), 779.9 hours (Total, this make and model), 1046.6 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 123.8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 71.1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

 

 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate:

Student

Age:

26, Male

Airplane Rating(s):

None

Seat Occupied:

Right

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

None

Restraint Used:

3-point

Instrument Rating(s):

None

Second Pilot Present:

No

Instructor Rating(s):

None

Toxicology Performed:

No

Medical Certification:

Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

03/01/2016

Occupational Pilot:

No

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

 

Flight Time:

56 hours (Total, all aircraft), 56 hours (Total, this make and model), 56 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

 

 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

ROBINSON

Registration:

N22UH

Model/Series:

R22 BETA

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Year of Manufacture:

2015

Amateur Built:

No

Airworthiness Certificate:

Normal

Serial Number:

4676

Landing Gear Type:

Skid

Seats:

2

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

06/28/2016, 100 Hour

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

1370 lbs

Time Since Last Inspection:

30 Hours

Engines:

1 Reciprocating

Airframe Total Time:

882.7 Hours at time of accident

Engine Manufacturer:

Lycoming

ELT:

Not installed

Engine Model/Series:

O-360-J2A

Registered Owner:

Alba Leasing Services

Rated Power:

145 hp

Operator:

On file

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

None

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

KPRC, 5052 ft msl

Distance from Accident Site:

1 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

1725 UTC

Direction from Accident Site:

203°

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Scattered / 3000 ft agl

Visibility

10 Miles

Lowest Ceiling:

 

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

3 knots /

Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:

/

Wind Direction:

140°

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

/

Altimeter Setting:

30.26 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

24°C / 18°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

No Obscuration; No Precipitation

Departure Point:

Prescott, AZ (PRC)

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Destination:

Prescott, AZ (PRC)

Type of Clearance:

VFR

Departure Time:

0950 MST

Type of Airspace:

Class D

 

Airport Information

Airport:

ERNEST A LOVE FIELD (PRC)

Runway Surface Type:

Asphalt

Airport Elevation:

5044 ft

Runway Surface Condition:

Dry

Runway Used:

21R

IFR Approach:

None

Runway Length/Width:

4846 ft / 60 ft

VFR Approach/Landing:

Simulated Forced Landing

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

2 Minor

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

2 Minor

Latitude, Longitude:

34.660833, -112.416389

 


 


Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Patrick H Jones

Adopted Date:

09/10/2018

Additional Participating Persons:

Chris Kennedy; Federal Aviation Administration; Scottsdale, AZ

Publish Date:

09/10/2018

Note:

The NTSB did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Investigation Docket:

http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/dockList.cfm?mKey=93744






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