Aircraft Accident/Incident Report

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

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 Event Accident
Event Date 6/8/2002
Event Day of the Week Saturday
Time of Event 720
Event Time Zone Pacific Daylight Time
Event City Henderson
Event State NEVADA
Event Country --
Zipcode of the event site 89123
Event Date Year 2002
Event Date Month 6
MidAir Collision Indicator No
On Ground Collision occurred ? No
Event Location Latitude 360118N
Event Location Longitude 1150709W
Event Location Airport --
Event Location Nearest Airport ID --
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airport Off Airport/Airstrip
Distance from airport in statute miles --
Degrees magnetic from airport --
Airport Elevation --
Weather Briefing Completeness Not pertinent
Investigator's weather source Weather Observation Facility
Time of the weather observation 718 Pacific Daylight Time
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees) 225
Weather Observation Facility ID HND
Elevation of weather observation facility 2492
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?) 3
Time Zone of the weather observation PDT
Lighting Conditions Day
Lowest Ceiling Height --
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height --
Sky/Lowest/Cloud Conditions Clear
Sky Condition for Lowest Ceiling None
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) 0
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic) 180
Variable Wind Indicator Wind direction could be determined
Wind Speed (knots) 14
Wind Velocity Indicator --
Wind Gust Indicator Not Gusting
Wind Gust (knots) --
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) 29.74
Density Altitude (feet) --
Intensity of Precipitation --
METAR weather report --
Event Highest Injury None
On Ground, Fatal Injuries --
On Ground, Minor Injuries --
On Ground, Serious Injuries --
Injury Total Fatal --
Injury Total Minor --
Injury Total None 2
Injury Total Serious --
Injury Total All --
Investigating Agency NTSB
NTSB Docket Number (internal use) 15909
NTSB Notification Source FAA
NTSB Notification Date Jun 8 2002 12:00AM
NTSB Notification Time 830
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket information DMS
Date of most recent change to record Jul 29 2004 7:30AM
User who most recently changed record NTSB\MONR
Basic weather conditions Visual Meteorological Cond
FAA District Office WP-FSDO Las Vegas, NV

Aircraft Involved

Aircraft #1

Aircraft Registration Number N7176S
NTSB Number LAX02LA189
Missing Aircraft Indicator --
Federal Aviation Reg. Part Part 91: General Aviation
Type of Flight Plan filed None
Flight plan Was Activated? No
Damage Substantial
Aircraft Fire None
Aircraft Explosion None
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full Name Robinson
Aircraft Model R22 Beta
Aircraft Series Identifier --
Aircraft Serial Number 2971
Certified Max Gross Weight 1370
Aircraft Category Helicopter
Aircraft Registration Class U.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 2
Number of Engines 1
Fixed gear or retractable gear Fixed
Aircraft, Type of Last Inspection 100 Hour
Date of Last Inspection May 18 2002 12:00AM
Airframe hours since last inspection 91
Airframe Hours 1755
ELT Installed No
ELT Activated Unknown
ELT Aided Location of Event Site Unknown
ELT Type --
Aircraft Owner Name Matthew Spitzer, dba Spitzer Aircraft Sales
Aircraft Owner Street Address 3809 Amyx Ct.
Aircraft Owner City Hayward
Aircraft Owner State CA
Aircraft Owner Country USA
Aircraft Owner Zipcode 94542
Operator is an individual? No
Operator Name Silver State Helicopters, LLC
Operator Same as Owner? No
Operator Is Doing Business As --
Operator Address Same as Owner? No
Operator Street Address 2722 Perimeter Rd., Suite 207
Operator City North Las Vegas
Operator State NV
Operator Country USA
Operator Zip code 89032
Operator Code --
Owner has at least one certificate None
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 Board No
Departure Point Same as Event No
Departure Airport Code HND
Departure City Henderson
Departure State NV
Departure Country USA
Departure Time 645
Departure Time Zone PDT
Destination Same as Local Flt dest & departure same, accident can occur anywhere
Destination Airport Code VGT
Destination City North Las Vegas
Destination State NV
Destination Country USA
Specific Phase of Flight Landing - flare/touchdown
Report sent to ICAO? No
Evacuation occurred No
Date of most recent change to record May 17 2004 6:18PM
User who most recently changed record COOS
Since inspection or accident Time of Accident
Event Location Runway Number and Location NA
Runway Length --
Runway Width --
Sight Seeing flight No
Air Medical Flight No
Medical Flight --