FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Springfield FSDO-19
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA296
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 07, 2016 in Cahokia/St. Louis, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2016
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22, registration: N931SH
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.
According to the flight instructor, he was instructing his student in hovering flight operations. He reported that he instructed the student to execute a right pedal turn at a three foot hover. The instructor recalled that the student complied and during the turn, as the tail came into the wind, the helicopter started to weathervane, and the turn rate increased rapidly and did not subside until the helicopter impacted the ground. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both rotor systems.
The instructor reported that there were no mechanical anomalies or malfunctions with any portion of the helicopter that would prevent normal flight operations.
The instructor reported that the wind velocity at the time of the accident was 11 knots gusting to 16 knots.
Weathercock stability is defined as a region of loss of tail rotor effectiveness (120 degree - 240 degree tailwind) that will weathervane the helicopter, and if not prevented will result in a loss of helicopter control about the horizontal axis.
According to the Helicopter Flying Handbook (FAA 8083-21A):
Pilots who put themselves in situations where the combinations above occur should know that they are likely to encounter LTE. The key is to not put the helicopter in a compromising condition but if it does happen being educated enough to recognize the onset of LTE and be prepared to quickly react to it before the helicopter cannot be controlled.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The flight instructor's delayed remedial action and his failure to remain vigilant as the helicopter entered the weathercock stability region, in gusting wind conditions, resulting in loss of tail rotor effectiveness and ground impact.
Patti Beck, spokeswoman for the airport, said the flight instructor was transported to St. Louis University Hospital, but his injuries were not considered life threatening. The student declined to go to a hospital.
Cahokia police said it received a call at 1:28 pm. from the airport office about the crash. Beck said the helicopter is a Robinson R22, a two-seat aircraft, occupied by an instructor and a trainee.
Midwest Helicopter, based at the airport, confirmed one of its helicopters was involved, but a spokeswoman said, "The accident is under investigation and we have no comment."
A reporter on the scene said the helicopter was resting on its side in a grassy area near the terminal, with numerous emergency vehicles nearby.
Beck works for Bi-State Development, which owns and operates the airport across the Mississippi River at Cahokia.
Stan Dawid, videographer for KTVI Channel 2, witnessed the crash from the Helicopters Inc. office nearby. Dawid said the helicopter was maneuvering a few feet off the ground when it leaned to the right and its skid hit the ground.
He said the aircraft landed hard, and the blade went spinning away. Dawid said one of the pilots got out and helped the other out of the helicopter. Beck said the student was the one who helped the instructor out of the helicopter.
"You know, it was just a small, low-level maneuver that's pretty common," Dawid said.
Story and video: http://www.stltoday.com
CAHOKIA, IL (KTVI) - At least one person was injured in a helicopter crash Tuesday at St. Louis Downtown Airport.
According to Patti Beck, an airport spokeswoman, a Robinson 22 helicopter crashed in a grassy area during a training session just before 1:30 p.m.
The flight instructor and a student were on board the helicopter at the time of the crash. Both men could be seen exiting the downed helicopter, but the student had to help lead his instructor away from the crash site.
The student was not injured, but the flight instructor was taken by ambulance to SLU Hospital.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.
Story and video: http://fox2now.com
CAHOKIA -- A flight instructor suffered minor injuries when a student crashed a helicopter during a flight training Tuesday at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia.
The crash, which occurred about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, resulted in minor injuries, according to Herb Simmons, St. Clair County’s Emergency Management Agency director.
Patti Beck, spokeswoman for Bi-State Development, which oversees the airport, said two people were aboard: an instructor and a student.
Beck said the flight instructor suffered minor injuries.
“The student assisted him in getting out of the helicopter after the crash,” Beck said.
The instructor was taken to Saint Louis University Hospital, Beck said.
Beck said a Robinson 22 helicopter, owned by Midwest Helicopter, crashed on a grassy area during a flight training.
Interim Cahokia Police Chief Dave Landmann said the crash happened at 1:28 p.m..
“Two people were aboard the helicopter, a 30-year-old pilot from Ramsey, Ill., and a 29-year-old male from St. Louis, Mo.,” Landmann said. “They said they were hovering not far from the ground when a gust of wind came and they lost control.”
An FAA spokeswoman confirmed that the FAA is investigating the crash. She said it could take several weeks to complete.
The spokeswoman, Elizabeth Cory, said, “We are just beginning our investigation. It could take several weeks, possibly a month or more.”
Read more here: http://www.bnd.com