Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary CEN21LA431

Romeo, MI, USA

Aircraft #1




The flight instructor reported that he intended to demonstrate to the student pilot a 180° autorotation with a power recovery near the ground. He planned to transition the helicopter into to a hover about 5 to 10 ft above ground level at the end of the maneuver. The instructor initially set the engine fuel control to the idle detent to simulate an engine failure and then entered an autorotation. As the autorotation progressed, the flight instructor repositioned the engine fuel control, but he failed to ensure that it had been placed into the flight detent. Without sufficient engine power at the end of the maneuver, the helicopter continued to descend with a low rotor speed, landed hard, and slid to a stop on the runway. Then the helicopter violently rocked side to side before the main rotor stopped rotating. During the accident sequence, the helicopter sustained substantial damage to a main rotor Starflex arm and the tail rotor driveshaft. Both the flight instructor and his student reported there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures of the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The flight instructor’s failure to reposition the fuel control to the flight detent during a practice autorotation, which resulted in insufficient engine power to arrest the helicopter’s decent and a hard landing.


Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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