Thursday, August 31, 2017

Robinson R22 BETA, N622MP, registered to Spitzer Helicopter LLC and operated by Capitol Helicopters: Incident occurred April 11, 2018 and Accident occurred August 29, 2017 at Sacramento Executive Airport (KSAC), California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento

Robinson R22 BETA lost control, rotor struck tail boom.

Date: 11-APR-18
Time: 00:10:00Z
Regis#: N622MP
Aircraft Make: ROBINSON
Aircraft Model: R22 BETA
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 133

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Sacramento, CA
Accident Number: GAA17CA514
Date & Time: 08/29/2017, 1330 PDT
Registration: N622MP
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional


The helicopter flight instructor reported that the student was practicing quick-stops on the taxiway. The student was hovering with a tailwind and began to accelerate when the helicopter started a "fast yaw to the right." He added that they stopped the acceleration, checked the engine gauges, and then accelerated again. As the helicopter was going through effective translational lift, it spun to the right. The flight instructor took the flight controls, noticed the rpm was high, and reduced the throttle. The helicopter impacted the ground backward and slid before coming to rest.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer.

The flight instructor reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

A review of recorded data from the automated weather observation station located on the airport reported that, about 37 minutes before the accident, the wind was from 190° at 7 knots. The helicopter was taxiing to the north.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot's failure to maintain yaw control and the flight instructor's delayed remedial action.


Yaw control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)
Delayed action - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Abrupt maneuver
Attempted remediation/recovery
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 29, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/30/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/17/2016
Flight Time: (Estimated) 660 hours (Total, all aircraft), 489 hours (Total, this make and model), 627 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 92 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 33 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 32, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/20/2017
Occupational Pilot:No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time: (Estimated) 18 hours (Total, all aircraft), 18 hours (Total, this make and model), 18 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: ROBINSON HELICOPTER
Registration: N622MP
Model/Series: R22 BETA
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 4016
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/15/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.:  1370 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 273.6 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: O-360-J2A
Rated Power: 145 hp
Operator: Capitol Helicopters
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSAC, 25 ft msl
Observation Time: 1953 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 169°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 16°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 190°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 29.82 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Sacramento, CA (SAC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination:Sacramento, CA (SAC)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1250 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 23 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:  
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  38.512500, -121.496389 (est)

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