Robinson R22 Beta, G-NWDC
Following a satisfactory dual circuit, and after checking that the student pilot was happy to continue with a solo exercise, the instructor vacated the helicopter. The student then performed two takeoffs and landings on the spot, before hover taxiing to a practice area on the other side of the main runway. Whilst turning into wind, the left skid unexpectedly touched the ground, destabilising the helicopter. The student was unable to maintain control and the helicopter then struck the ground, rolled on to its side and was substantially damaged. The student sustained only minor injuries. He candidly commented that, during the debrief with the instructor, they identified that the initial ground contact may have been due to hovering at too low a height and/or allowing the helicopter to sink slightly due to insufficient power being applied during the left pedal turn into wind.
Published 10 December 2014