Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Low Altitude Operation/Event: Robinson R22 BETA, N7007X; accident occurred April 06, 2020 in Seymour, Baylor County, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Seymour, TX

Accident Number: CEN20CA144
Date & Time: 04/06/2020, 1200 CDT
Registration: N7007X
Aircraft: Robinson R22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use


The pilot reported that he was herding cattle when the helicopter's tail rotor struck a tree branch. The helicopter began to yaw right and fully rotated twice as the pilot maneuvered toward open terrain. The pilot lowered the collective and rolled the throttle off to arrest the rotation. The helicopter stopped rotating and then landed hard. The tail rotor and empennage sustained substantial damage. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector who examined the helicopter reported that he found no preimpact mechanical malfunctions.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from a tree while maneuvering at low altitude.


Personnel issues Monitoring environment - Pilot
Environmental issues Tree(s) - Effect on operation
Aircraft Altitude - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying Low altitude operation/event (Defining event)
Maneuvering-low-alt flying Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Maneuvering-low-alt flying Loss of control in flight
Autorotation Off-field or emergency landing
Autorotation Hard landing

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 40, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/15/2020
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:Robinson 
Registration: N7007X
Model/Series: R22 BETA
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1998
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2785
Landing Gear Type: Ski;
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1369 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
Engine Model/Series: O& VO-360 SER
Registered Owner: Hawker Se 258022 Llc
Rated Power:
Operator: Hawker Se 258022 Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KF05, 1265 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 35 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1355 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 358°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1400 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 15 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 180°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Seymour, TX
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Seymour, TX
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None 
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 33.646667, -99.259444 (est)

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