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N303PR accident description

Oregon map... Oregon list
Crash location 44.497222°N, 123.289722°W
Nearest city Corvallis, OR
44.564566°N, 123.262044°W
4.8 miles away
Tail number N303PR
Accident date 04 Apr 2005
Aircraft type Robinson R-22 Beta
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On April 4, 2005, approximately 1700 Pacific daylight time, a Robinson R-22 Beta helicopter, N303PR, impacted the terrain while maneuvering to land at Corvallis Municipal Airport, Corvallis, Oregon. The instructor pilot and her private pilot rated student were not injured, but the aircraft, which is owned by Pacific Rim Aviation, and operated by Avia Aviation, sustained substantial damage. The local 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight, which departed the same airport about 75 minutes prior to the accident, was being operated in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed.

According to the instructor pilot, the student was at the controls as they approached the airport from the east on a practice VOR-A approach. Because the student misunderstood the instructor's directions to touch down on the numbers of Runway 17 at the termination of the approach, he proceeded to a grassy area between the approach ends of Runway 35 and Runway 27. During the last part of his approach to the grassy area, the student had the helicopter headed into the wind, but when he was about 30 to 40 feet above the ground, he initiated a right turn in order to air-taxi to the helicopter landing pad. During that turn, the helicopter was exposed to a direct tailwind of between five to seven knots, and during that sequence of events, the student failed to maintain directional control, and the aircraft began spinning to the right. Although the instructor pilot took control of the aircraft, her remedial action was not taken soon enough to regain control before the helicopter's left skid impacted the terrain. After the skid hit the terrain, the aircraft rolled over onto its left side, where it came to rest.

According to the instructor, there were no issues with the helicopter's flight control system, nor any problem with the engine's production of power.

NTSB Probable Cause

The student pilot's failure to maintain directional control while attempting to turn in the direction necessary to air-taxi to the landing pad, and the flight instructor's failure to take remedial action soon enough to correct the problems created when the student lost directional control. Factors include a tailwind encountered by the aircraft during the aforementioned turn.

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