Monday, June 17, 2019

Dynamic Rollover: Robinson R22 Beta, N511HE; accident occurred June 15, 2019 at Bulverde Airpark (1T8), San Antonio, Texas

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: San Antonio, TX
Accident Number: GAA19CA347
Date & Time: 06/15/2019, 1320 CDT
Registration: N511HE
Aircraft: Robinson R22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Dynamic rollover
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 


The flight instructor in the helicopter reported that, while the pilot receiving instruction was practicing "slope landings" in the tall grass adjacent to an asphalt runway, he was shadowing the flight controls. He added that the pilot moved the cyclic left. The instructor was unable to correct, and the helicopter experienced a dynamic rollover and impacted terrain.

As a recommendation, the instructor reported that the accident could have been prevented by not practicing slope landings in tall grass. He added that the helicopter contacted the terrain sooner than expected due to the tall grass.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and firewall.

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

An automated weather observation station located about 12 miles south of the accident site reported that, about 29 minutes before the accident, the wind was from 170° at 15 knots, gusting to 21 knots. The same automated station reported that, about 9 minutes after the accident, the wind was from 180° at 9 knots. The pilot was landing to the south. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot receiving instruction's improper cyclic control input during landing, which resulted in a dynamic rollover, and the flight instructor's improper decision to practice landings in tall grass in gusting wind conditions.


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

Personnel issues
Decision making/judgment - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)
Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)
Use of equip/system - Student pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Decision related to condition (Cause) 
Gusts - Effect on operation 

Factual Information

History of Flight

Dynamic rollover (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial; Private
Age: 58, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/01/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/11/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 14500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 11000 hours (Total, this make and model), 14400 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 100 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 35 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/16/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/30/2015
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 250 hours (Total, all aircraft), 100 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson
Registration: N511HE
Model/Series: R22 BETA
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3738
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/09/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1370 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5860.3 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-J2A
Registered Owner: Heliflight Leasing Llc
Rated Power: 145 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held:   Pilot School (141); Agricultural Aircraft (137); Rotorcraft External Load (133); On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: H2EA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSAT, 789 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1329 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 188°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1500 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 180°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: San Antonio, TX (1T8)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: San Antonio, TX (1T8)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1300 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1080 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 16
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2890 ft / 40 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.739167, -98.451389 (est)


  1. Another day another Robinson ... No surprise here.

  2. Sure is getting old. Cant fly one huh?

  3. These Robinson accidents are getting old.
    If you don't get in one it is less likely you will be hurt.


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