Emergency helicopter landing occurred during training flight

What was initially described as a non-injury emergency landing of a helicopter at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas was actually a training flight that went awry, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Two instructor pilots who took off from Palomar Airport on a Robertson R22 Thursday morning were practicing an “…auto rotation procedure” above an empty beach around 8 a.m. when the helicopter’s tail boom broke, said Ian Gregor of the FAA.

The procedure involves “…safely sitting a helicopter down when it loses power,” Gregor said.

“From what I understand, in this case, they set the helicopter down and then it sunk down in the sand a bit. That’s when the rotor blades hit the tail boom,” he said.

National Transportation Safety Board and FAA officials are inspecting the helicopter at a nearby salvage yard, where it was towed yesterday afternoon after FAA officials took photographs at the accident site, Gregor said.

Gregor said there was nothing wrong with the pilots practicing the
maneuver.

“They were practicing a critical skills maneuver over an empty beach and that’s perfectly acceptable for a helicopter,” he said.

Related posts:

  1. Civilian helicopter crash lands near Swami’s Beach
  2. SDG&E found negligent in helicopter crash
  3. Sand to beach reclamation effort under way in Encinitas
  4. Charger fans, it’s almost time for training
  5. Fog causes flight delays

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=3463

Posted by Pat Sherman on Feb 19, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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