FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Houston FSDO-09
DOWNHOLE PIPE AND EQUIPMENT LP: http://registry.faa.gov/N41407
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA297
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 07, 2016 in Chireno, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2016
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44, registration: N41407
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 student helicopter pilot reported that during a local flight he diverted his attention to the navigational equipment and removed his hand from the cyclic. He reported that he lost control of the helicopter and believed the helicopter became inverted. He further reported that he presumed that he had damaged the rotor system and elected to make a precautionary landing by entering an autorotation. During the landing, the left helicopter skid touched down on uneven terrain and the helicopter rolled over, which resulted in substantial damage to the tail boom.
The pilot reported there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
The manufacturer provided a test flight video that showed what will occur when the Helicopter's cyclic is released in forward flight. Per the video, in forward flight, should the pilot release the cyclic, the helicopter will pitch up and roll left.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The student pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for landing, which resulted in the helicopter rolling over during landing, and substantial damage to the tail boom.