Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Dynamic rollover: Robinson R22 Beta II, N786SH; accident occurred March 01, 2022 at Fallston Airport (W42), Harford County, Maryland

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Fly For Fun Aircraft LLC

Middle River Flight Center

Spitzer Helicopter LLC

Location: Fallston, Maryland 
Accident Number: ERA22LA140
Date and Time: March 1, 2022, 11:20 Local
Registration: N786SH
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Dynamic rollover
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional


The flight instructor and his student were performing maneuvers as part of a flight lesson. About 40 minutes into the flight, while attempting a left pedal turn, the helicopter descended just enough to touch the left rear skid, which surprised the student, who then added right lateral cyclic control. The helicopter’s right skid dug in the ground, and the helicopter rolled over on to its right side, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and main rotor blades.

The helicopter manufacturer’s flight maneuvers guide advised that a 5-foot hover should be used for all taxi and hover operations, and a minimum 5-foot hover was the policy of the flight school.

After the accident, the flight school had discussions with all their helicopter instructors to emphasize the need to maintain proper height above the ground, the need to closely guard the controls while instructing, and the need for improved awareness of the capabilities and experience of the students.

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 inadequate supervision of the student and his delayed remedial action.


Aircraft Altitude - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Lateral/bank control - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Student/instructed pilot
Personnel issues Identification/recognition - Student/instructed pilot
Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Student/instructed pilot
Personnel issues Decision making/judgment - Instructor/check pilot
Personnel issues Delayed action - Instructor/check pilot
Personnel issues Total experience - Student/instructed pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-hover Low altitude operation/event
Maneuvering-hover Altitude deviation
Maneuvering-hover Attempted remediation/recovery
Maneuvering-hover Dynamic rollover (Defining event)

Flight instructor Information

Certificate: Commercial
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: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter; Instrument helicopter 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: April 8, 2021
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: March 6, 2021
Flight Time: 1038 hours (Total, all aircraft), 828 hours (Total, this make and model), 969 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 126 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 776 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 35, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: January 27, 2022
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: November 14, 2019
Flight Time: 143 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2 hours (Total, this make and model), 83 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N786SH
Model/Series: R22
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3626
Landing Gear Type: Skid 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: February 2, 2022 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1370 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 7473.86 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Not installed 
Engine Model/Series: O-360-J2A
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 180 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot school (141)
Operator Does Business As: Middle River Flight Center 
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMTN, 21 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 11:54 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 181°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 12000 ft AGL
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 130° Turbulence 
Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Baltimore, MD (MTN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Fallston, MD (W42)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 10:50 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Fallston Airport W42
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 460 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 22
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2200 ft / 50 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop; Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 39.501324,-76.411335(est)

Rotorcraft hover taxiing on runway, caught a skid and tipped over. 

Date: 01-MAR-22
Time: 16:20:00Z
Regis#: N786SH
Aircraft Make: ROBINSON
Aircraft Model: R22
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 91

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