June 14, 2008, Missoula, Mon., Robinson R44 II


The flight instructor was having the student practice landing approaches. During a turn, the instructor noted that the helicopter was descending faster than anticipated, and that “the collective was too far down, the cyclic was too far back, and [the student] had a tight hold on both controls.” The instructor struggled with the student for control of the helicopter for a period of 3 to 4 seconds. The helicopter landed hard, rolled onto its left side, and instantly caught on fire. Both occupants exited the right door. The helicopter was destroyed by fire.


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