Accident Robinson R-22 N345VH, Wednesday 2 January 2013
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Date:Wednesday 2 January 2013
Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R-22
Owner/operator:Helicopter Academy
Registration: N345VH
MSN: 2314
Year of manufacture:1993
Total airframe hrs:3417 hours
Engine model:Lycoming O-320 SERIES
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Peter O Knight Airport, Davis Islands, Tampa, Florida -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport, Clearwater, Florida (KPIE)
Destination airport:Peter O Knight Airport, Davis Islands, Tampa, Florida (TPF/KTPF)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On January 2, 2013, about 18:10 EST (Eastern Standard Time), a Robinson R22 Beta, N345VH, was substantially damaged following a practice auto rotation to runway 22 at Peter O Knight Airport (TPF), Tampa, Florida. The flight instructor and a student pilot were not injured. The helicopter was operated by Helicopter Academy under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport, Clearwater, Florida (PIE) about 17:15 CST.

The flight instructor reported that she landed at PIE to pick up her student and proceeded to TPF for approaches and practice auto rotations. The first three approaches were uneventful. During the fourth approach to runway 22, the student entered a practice auto rotation at 500 feet above ground level (agl) and at 70 knots. About 40 feet agl, the student bled off airspeed by making “baby flares.” She reported that the student rolled on the throttle, but the governor did not catch and the rpm started to decay. The instructor had her hands on the controls and added throttle to arrest the rpm decay. When the rpm continued to decay, she took the controls and performed a hovering auto rotation. The helicopter impacted a grassy area next to the runway, bounced, and rolled over, coming to an immediate stop.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The inspector confirmed substantial damage to the airframe. Both main rotor blades were bent in several places. The engine firewall was buckled. The tail boom was crushed at the fuselage attachment point and the horizontal stabilizer was bent about 90 degrees. The flight instructor reported to the inspector that there was excessive “play” in the left throttle and she had reported the condition to the operator’s maintenance personnel twice previously, and was informed that the play was normal.

On January 8, 2013, the FAA re-inspected the helicopter throttle system with the assistance of a technical representative from Robinson Helicopter Company. The inspector reported that, based on the description of the throttle rigging provided to the technical representative, the throttle was in an airworthy condition. Recorded weather at PTF at the time of the accident included calm surface wind

Probable Cause: The student pilot’s delayed throttle application during the practice auto rotation and the flight instructor’s lack of immediate remedial action, which resulted in a hard landing. Aircraft presumably written off (damaged beyond repair) as the registration N345VH was cancelled by the FAA on May 11 2015

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA13LA104
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


2. FAA register:


Revision history:

03-Jan-2013 03:08 gerard57 Added
03-Jan-2013 10:11 Geno Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
12-Oct-2016 15:27 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
28-Nov-2017 14:06 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
24-Aug-2018 01:03 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
02-Sep-2018 00:52 Dr.John Smith Updated [Departure airport]

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