Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Dynamic Rollover: Robinson R22, N8560A; accident occurred November 04, 2019 at Smoketown Airport (S37), Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Smoketown Helicopters LLC

Location: Smoketown, Pennsylvania
Accident Number: GAA20CA060
Date & Time: November 4, 2019, 11:19 Local 
Registration: N8560A
Aircraft: Robinson R22 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Dynamic rollover
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional


The flight instructor reported that he lifted off in the helicopter and ascended to between about 3 and 4 ft above the grassy field north of the runway to show the student pilot how to hover, and while having positive control of the collective and antitorque pedal, he gave the cyclic control to the student. While the instructor was "guarding" the cyclic, the student applied right cyclic. Subsequently, the helicopter descended, and the right skid contacted the ground. The instructor applied left cyclic, but the helicopter dynamically rolled over. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main rotor system and horizontal stabilizer. The instructor reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions 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 improper cyclic input while hovering and the flight instructor's delayed remedial action, which resulted in a dynamic rollover.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Student/instructed pilot
Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Student/instructed pilot
Personnel issues Monitoring other person - Instructor/check pilot
Aircraft (general) - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-hover Low altitude operation/event
Maneuvering-hover Simulated/training event
Maneuvering-hover Dynamic rollover (Defining event)
Maneuvering-hover Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor 
Age: 30,Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: February 1, 2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: Flight Time: (Estimated)

Student pilot Information

Certificate: None 
Age: 44,Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Unknown 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson 
Registration: N8560A
Model/Series: R22 Alpha
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1985 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 0474
Landing Gear Type: N/A; Skid 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: September 6, 2019 100 hour 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1370 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 10410.1 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Not installed 
Engine Model/Series: O-360-B2A
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 145 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Dawn
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLNS,403 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 15:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 318°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 14 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 160°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.32 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / -1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Smoketown, PA (S37)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Smoketown, PA (S37)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 10:00 Local
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: SMOKETOWN S37 
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 370 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 40.041667,-76.201942(est)

SMOKETOWN, Pennsylvania  — A helicopter crashed Monday morning at Smoketown Airport in Lancaster County, according to the airport manager.

The aircraft went down shortly before 11:30 a.m. Monday at the airport in East Lampeter Township.

According to the airport manager, the helicopter was being used for training.

The rotorcraft came down a little hard in the wind and tipped over, the manager said.

The manager said a flight instructor and student pilot who were on board weren't hurt.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate.

Story and video ➤ https://www.wgal.com

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