Robinson rollover


Af­ter a sat­is­fac­tory 55-minute train­ing flight in a Robinson R22 Beta that had in­cor­po­rated nu­mer­ous take­offs and land­ings, the in­struc­tor as­sessed that his 41-hour PPL(H) stu­dent pi­lot han­dled the heli­copter com­pe­tently and was ready for his first solo. He re­minded the stu­dent that with no in­struc­tor oc­cu­py­ing the left seat, the heli­copter’s cen­tre of grav­ity would move right and aft, so the cyclic stick would have to be po­si­tioned to the left and for­ward to com­pen­sate, and that gen­tle con­trol move­ments should be made dur­ing lift off. The stu­dent ad­justed the cyclic stick to what he thought was the cor­rect po­si­tion and raised the col­lec­tive, but was un­able to pre­vent the heli­copter rolling quickly onto its right side and strik­ing the ground. The in­struc­tor re­ported that the pi­lot kept the heli­copter straight through cor­rect use of the yaw ped­als but did not ap­ply suf­fi­cient left cyclic con­trol to com­pen­sate for the change of cen­tre of grav­ity. The pi­lot, who had been trapped in his seat with mi­nor in­juries to his hands, was helped to es­cape by the in­struc­tor, who later at­trib­uted the ac­ci­dent to dy­namic rollover – a phe­nom­e­non the pi­lot had been briefed about in the class­room and pre-flight. The AAIB has re­ported on four other ac­ci­dents in the last ten years that have involved dy­namic rollover, three of which oc­curred dur­ing a stu­dent pi­lot’s first or sec­ond solo flight in an R22 Beta, while the fourth oc­curred to an R66 dur­ing a stu­dent pi­lot’s first solo on type.

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