Accident Eurocopter EC 120B N125MG, 24 Jan 2004
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 174331
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Type:Silhouette image of generic EC20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Eurocopter EC 120B
Registration: N125MG
MSN: 1264
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Jonesboro, GA -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Atlanta, GA (FFC)
Destination airport:Jonesboro, GA (4A7)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The certified flight instructor (CFI) and the dual-student had completed five practice touchdown autorotations without any incident. However, during the accident autorotation, the CFI stated that the dual-student had placed the helicopter in an autorotative descent and his cross-check showed normal rotor RPM indications. At 50 feet above the ground, the in CFI told the student to "progressive decel" and at six feet above ground to "cushion". The dual student pulled additional rear cyclic and the tail stinger struck the ground. As the helicopter rebounded into a nose low attitude the CFI pulled collective and aft cyclic to level the helicopter for touchdown. However, a loud noise was heard after the tail stinger hit the ground and the helicopter rebounded. According to the CFI, during the touchdown phase of the autorotation, the main rotor blades made contact with and severed the tail boom. The helicopter landed and the CFI shut down the engine. The CFI did not report any mechanical malfunctions with the helicopter prior to the accident. The FAA Rotorcraft Flying Handbook includes the procedures for a straight-in autorotation. Part of the technique section states that "care must be taken in the execution of the flare so that the cyclic control is not... moved so slowly as to not arrest the descent, which may allow the helicopter to settle so rapidly that the tail rotor strikes the ground." It also states that "extreme caution should be used to avoid an excessive nose high and tail low attitude below 10 feet," to "increase collective pitch, as necessary, to check the descent and cushion the landing,"
Probable Cause: The instructor's inadequate supervision, and the dual-student's improper flare which resulted in a hard landing.




Revision history:

07-Mar-2015 18:16 Noro Added
25-Sep-2016 17:18 Aerossurance Updated [Aircraft type]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
07-Dec-2017 17:36 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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