Aircraft Incident/Accident Report


Henderson, Nevada 89123
Saturday, June 8, 2002 7:20 PDT

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NTSB Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident
The helicopter landed hard during an autorotation following the failure of one clutch drive belt. While maneuvering about 500 feet above ground level during an aerial photography business-related flight, the pilot and passenger smelled an unusual odor. About 5 seconds later, the pilot felt a jolt and observed the "Clutch Light" illuminate in the cockpit. The pilot initiated an autorotative descent but misjudged his landing flare, and the helicopter touched down hard on the underlying level open terrain. During the event, the clutch light illuminated continuously. The pilot did not follow the prescribed flight manual emergency procedure to pull the clutch circuit breaker. Engine power was not lost. The pilot allowed rotor rpm to decrease, and he erroneously entered an autorotation rather than performing the prescribed immediate landing while being prepared for the possibility of an autorotative descent. The subsequent wreckage examination revealed one of the two rotor system drive (vee) belts had broken. The second belt was intact, with the lower section of the belt found on the lower pulley in the correct position. The upper section of the belt on the upper pulley was found shifted forward one groove on the pulley.
NTSB Probable Cause Narrative
The pilot's misjudged landing flare during an autorotation, which resulted in a hard landing. The pilot's failure to follow the listed emergency procedures in the rotorcraft flight manual and the partial failure of the rotor system's drive belts were factors.
Event Information
Type of EventAccident 
Event Date6/8/2002 
Event Day of the WeekSaturday 
Time of Event720 
Event Time ZonePacific Daylight Time 
Event CityHenderson 
Event StateNEVADA 
Event Country-- 
Zipcode of the event site89123 
Event Date Year2002 
Event Date Month
MidAir Collision IndicatorNo 
On Ground Collision occurred ?No 
Event Location Latitude360118N 
Event Location Longitude1150709W 
Event Location Airport-- 
Event Location Nearest Airport ID-- 
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airportOff Airport/Airstrip 
Distance from airport in statute miles-- 
Degrees magnetic from airport-- 
Airport Elevation-- 
Weather Briefing CompletenessNot pertinent 
Investigator's weather sourceWeather Observation Facility 
Time of the weather observation718 Pacific Daylight Time 
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees)225 
Weather Observation Facility IDHND 
Elevation of weather observation facility2492 
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?)
Time Zone of the weather observationPDT 
Lighting ConditionsDay 
Lowest Ceiling Height-- 
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height-- 
Sky/Lowest/Cloud ConditionsClear 
Sky Condition for Lowest CeilingNone 
Visibility Runway Visual Range (Feet)-- 
Visibility Runway Visual Value (Statute Miles)-- 
Visibility (Statute Miles) 15 
Air Temperature at event time (in degrees celsius)32 
Dew Point at event time (in degress fahrenheit)
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic)180 
Variable Wind IndicatorWind direction could be determined 
Wind Speed (knots)14 
Wind Velocity Indicator -- 
Wind Gust IndicatorNot Gusting 
Wind Gust (knots) -- 
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) 29.74 
Density Altitude (feet)-- 
Intensity of Precipitation-- 
METAR weather report -- 
Event Highest InjuryNone 
On Ground, Fatal Injuries-- 
On Ground, Minor Injuries-- 
On Ground, Serious Injuries-- 
Injury Total Fatal-- 
Injury Total Minor-- 
Injury Total None
Injury Total Serious-- 
Injury Total All-- 
Investigating AgencyNTSB 
NTSB Docket Number (internal use)15909 
NTSB Notification SourceFAA  
NTSB Notification DateJun 8 2002 12:00AM 
NTSB Notification Time830 
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket informationDMS 
Date of most recent change to recordJul 29 2004 7:30AM 
User who most recently changed recordNTSB\MONR  
Basic weather conditionsVisual Meteorological Cond 
FAA District OfficeWP-FSDO Las Vegas, NV 
Aircraft Involved
Aircraft #1
Aircraft Registration NumberN7176S 
NTSB NumberLAX02LA189 
Missing Aircraft Indicator-- 
Federal Aviation Reg. PartPart 91: General Aviation 
Type of Flight Plan filedNone 
Flight plan Was Activated?No 
DamageSubstantial 
Aircraft FireNone 
Aircraft ExplosionNone 
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full NameRobinson 
Aircraft ModelR22 Beta 
Aircraft Series Identifier-- 
Aircraft Serial Number2971 
Certified Max Gross Weight1370 
Aircraft CategoryHelicopter 
Aircraft Registration ClassU.S. Registered/U.S. Soil 
Aircraft is a homebuilt?No 
Flight Crew Seats-- 
Cabin Crew Seats-- 
Passenger Seats-- 
Total number of seats on the aircraft
Number of Engines
Fixed gear or retractable gearFixed 
Aircraft, Type of Last Inspection100 Hour 
Date of Last InspectionMay 18 2002 12:00AM 
Airframe hours since last inspection91 
Airframe Hours1755 
ELT InstalledNo 
ELT ActivatedUnknown 
ELT Aided Location of Event SiteUnknown 
ELT Type-- 
Aircraft Owner NameMatthew Spitzer, dba Spitzer Aircraft Sales 
Aircraft Owner Street Address3809 Amyx Ct. 
Aircraft Owner CityHayward 
Aircraft Owner StateCA 
Aircraft Owner CountryUSA  
Aircraft Owner Zipcode94542 
Operator is an individual?No 
Operator NameSilver State Helicopters, LLC 
Operator Same as Owner?No 
Operator Is Doing Business As-- 
Operator Address Same as Owner?No 
Operator Street Address2722 Perimeter Rd., Suite 207 
Operator CityNorth Las Vegas 
Operator StateNV 
Operator CountryUSA  
Operator Zip code89032 
Operator Code-- 
Owner has at least one certificateNone 
Other Operator of large aircraft?-- 
Certified for Part 133 or 137 Operation-- 
Operator Certificate Number-- 
Indicates whether an air carrier operation was scheduled or not-- 
Indicates Domestic or International Flight-- 
Operator carrying Pax/Cargo/Mail-- 
Type of Flying (Per_Bus / Primary)Business 
Second Pilot on BoardNo 
Departure Point Same as EventNo 
Departure Airport CodeHND  
Departure CityHenderson 
Departure StateNV 
Departure CountryUSA 
Departure Time645 
Departure Time ZonePDT 
Destination Same as Local Fltdest & departure same, accident can occur anywhere 
Destination Airport CodeVGT  
Destination CityNorth Las Vegas 
Destination StateNV 
Destination CountryUSA 
Specific Phase of FlightLanding - flare/touchdown 
Report sent to ICAO?No 
Evacuation occurredNo 
Date of most recent change to recordMay 17 2004 6:18PM 
User who most recently changed recordCOOS  
Since inspection or accidentTime of Accident 
Event Location Runway Number and LocationNA 
Runway Length-- 
Runway Width-- 
Sight Seeing flightNo 
Air Medical FlightNo 
Medical Flight--