Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hughes 369D, N721RP, Haverfield International Inc: Accident occurred March 26, 2016 in Jamestown, Stutsman County, North Dakota

HAVERFIELD INTERNATIONAL INC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N721RP

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fargo FSDO-21

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA168
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 26, 2016 in Jamestown, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/15/2016
Aircraft: HUGHES 369, registration: N721RP
Injuries: 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 pilot reported that he was performing a practice autorotation with a power recovery, and was the sole occupant in the helicopter. He reported that the power was introduced at 200 feet above ground level (AGL) and he entered the flare at too low of an altitude. The tail rotor system impacted the soft ground adjacent to the planned landing area. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tailboom, the tail rotor driveshaft assembly, and the tail rotor system. 

The pilot verified that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The Federal Aviation Administration has published Advisory Circular (AC) 61-140 Autorotation Training (2013). This AC discusses the flare portion for autorotation training and states in part:

Every autorotational flare will be different depending on the existing wind conditions, airspeed, density altitude, and the aircraft gross weight. 

This AC also discusses common errors during autorotation training and states in part:

Improper flare (too much or not enough).

Flaring too low or too high (AGL).

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's excessive descent rate while flaring during a practice autorotation with a power recovery, which resulted in an impact with terrain.

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