Saturday, February 10, 2018

Robinson R22 Beta, N177SR, Nanco Helicopters: Accident occurred September 24, 2017 at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (KSBA), California

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Accident Number: GAA17CA551
Date & Time: 09/24/2017, 0925 PDT
Registration: N177SR
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Dynamic rollover
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

According to the flight instructor in the skid-equipped helicopter, he was providing hover instruction to his airplane rated student, about three feet above the ground.

The instructor reported that he allowed the student to make the necessary flight control inputs, as he guarded the controls. The area was level, with 1ft tall weeds. The helicopter began to drift laterally and descend. The right skid contacted the weeds and the helicopter rolled onto its right-side. The instructor reported that, "I was not quick enough in lowering the collective to prevent full rollover."

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tailboom and engine mounts.

Per the National Transportation Safety Board's Pilot Aircraft Accident Report, the instructor reported that the accident could have been prevented by instructing hover practice at a, "higher altitude and away from obstacles that may serve as a pivot point leading to dynamic rollover."

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot's unstabilized hover, which resulted in ground contact and a dynamic rollover. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor's delayed remedial action.


Altitude - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Lateral/bank control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

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

Factual Information

History of Flight

Uncontrolled descent
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)


Dynamic rollover (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s):  Multi-engine Land; Multi-engine Sea; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Helicopter; Instrument Airplane; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/13/2017
Occupational Pilot:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 12650 hours (Total, all aircraft), 450 hours (Total, this make and model), 12470 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 225 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 125 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 78, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/19/2017
Occupational Pilot:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/29/1993
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 522 hours (Total, all aircraft), 77 hours (Total, this make and model), 323 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 77 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 34 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: ROBINSON HELICOPTER
Registration: N177SR
Model/Series: R22 Beta
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2001
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3275
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/22/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1370 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2626.2 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: O-360 SERIES
Rated Power: 124 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter Air Carrier (135) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSBA, 20 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site:  265°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 8°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Santa Barbara, CA (SBA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Santa Barbara, CA (SBA)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0830 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class C

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 13 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Soft; Wet
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:  34.426111, -119.841389 (est)

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