Saturday, January 11, 2020

Hard Landing: Robinson R44 Cadet, N4050X; accident occurred October 02, 2019 at McClellan-Palomar Airport (KCRQ), Carlsbad, San Diego County, California

View of damage to the main rotor system.
Federal Aviation Administration

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Diego, California

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Carlsbad, CA
Accident Number: GAA20CA002
Date & Time: 10/02/2019, 1345 PDT
Registration: N4050X
Aircraft: ROBINSON R44
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

The flight instructor in the helicopter reported that, she provided takeoff and landing training from and to, a helicopter landing platform. During landing, the student pilot had control of the collective and the anti-torque pedals, and the flight instructor had maintained control of the cyclic.

The flight instructor asserted that during landing to the platform, "the student lowered the collective suddenly, and also pulled back up (on the collective) suddenly as well." Additionally, the student grabbed the cyclic and pulled aft, when he increased the collective. The helicopter bounced on the platform and "tilted backwards." The helicopter started to roll to its right side, and the instructor closed the throttle. The helicopter rolled onto its right side and the main rotor blades struck the ground.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main and tail rotor drive systems and the fuselage.

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

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 38, Female
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 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/01/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/03/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 5253 hours (Total, all aircraft), 938 hours (Total, this make and model), 5195 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 221 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 69 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 25, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
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 1 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/27/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 84 hours (Total, all aircraft), 34 hours (Total, this make and model), 3 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 34 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 16 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: ROBINSON
Registration: N4050X
Model/Series: R44
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2019
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate:Normal 
Serial Number: 30058
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/24/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 38 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT:Not installed 
Engine Model/Series: O-540-F1B5
Rated Power: 260 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141); On-demand Air Taxi (135)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCRQ, 328 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 112°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.9 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Carlsbad, CA (CRQ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Carlsbad, CA (CRQ)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1345 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: McClellan-Palomar (CRQ)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 330 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

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: 33.128333, -117.280000 (est)

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