Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Robinson R22, Universal Helicopters, N22UH: Accident occurred August 02, 2016 at Ernest A. Love Field Airport (KPRC), Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Scottsdale FSDO-07

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA156
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 02, 2016 in Prescott, AZ
Aircraft: ROBINSON R22, registration: N22UH
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 2, 2016, about 1035 mountain standard time (MST), a Robinson R22, N22UH, made a hard landing at Ernest A Love Field Airport, Prescott, Arizona. The helicopter was being operated by Universal Helicopters under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The student pilot received minor injuries and the flight instructor (CFI) was seriously injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage during the accident sequence. The local instructional flight departed Prescott, Arizona, about 1000. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

The pre-solo student pilot and the flight instructor were practicing straight in auto-rotations. The flight instructor stated during the descent he noticed the rotor RPM was low and then the student pilot increased the collective pitch which resulted in the rotor RPM to decay further. The helicopter hit the ground hard and the landing skids collapsed, the main rotor blades connected with the tail boom 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.

The accident site was documented and photographed. The wreckage was recovered for further examination.

PRESCOTT – A light helicopter crashed near the end of a runway at Prescott Municipal Airport on Tuesday, Aug, 2, sending the pilot and a passenger to the hospital with injuries.

It happened about 10:30 a.m. The Robinson R-22 came to rest between the ends of runways 21 left and right.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the helicopter “rolled over onto its side under unknown circumstances.”

The two people on board, both men in their 20s to 30s, were flown to Flagstaff Medical Center in critical condition, according to Prescott Fire Division Chief Don Devendorf, and the first arriving fire crew reported that they were “laying in the grass” between two runways.

“The majority of the fuselage is intact, but the other parts of the helicopter were spread around the area,” Devendorf said.

“Witnesses reported seeing the helicopter fall from the sky at an estimated height of 50 feet,” he added.

The two injured were to be released from the hospital Tuesday evening, a spokesperson with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University said. Their injuries were not as serious as reported.

The pilot was a student from a different school who was practicing on his own time, ERAU stated.

The helicopter was leased and reportedly owned by Universal Helicopters, a flight training company. A call to Universal Helicopters Tuesday was not returned.


Two people were sent to the hospital with unknown injuries Tuesday morning after the helicopter they were flying in rolled over at Prescott Municipal Airport, officials said.

About 10:28 a.m., an FAA tower at the Prescott Municipal Airport alerted first responders to a helicopter that had tipped on the airfield.

When first responders arrived, they found the helicopter flipped on its side with severe damage and the helicopter passengers — two men in their 20s to 30s —  lying on the grass just beyond the wreckage, authorities said.

Witnesses said the helicopter fell out of the sky from an estimated 50 feet off the ground.

Both passengers were considered by first responders to be Level 1 trauma victims because of the nature of the crash and their conditions. The men were transported by air to the Flagstaff Medical Center.

The men’s status has not been made public.

The helicopter’s operator was a flight training company based out of the Prescott airport.


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