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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 39401
Last updated: 26 January 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R22 Alpha
Owner/operator:Arizona Wing & Rotor
Registration: N2256M
C/n / msn: 0498
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1/2 mile N of Scottsdale Airport, Scottsdale, Arizona -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Scottsdale Airport, Scottsdale, Arizona (SDL/KSDL)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
On March 16, 1987, at 11:17 MST (Mountain Standard Time), a Robinson R22 Alpha helicopter, N2256M, operated by Arizona Wing and Rotor, broke up in flight during an instructional flight at Scottsdale, Arizona. A witnesses reported observing the helicopter in hover flight at about 400 feet agl. The helicopter was then observed to turn slowly to the left and lose altitude, then to turn 360 degrees as the nose lowered about 45 degrees, and to rapidly descend in a spin.

The witness subsequently reported a loud noise and observed pieces separating from the helicopter as it crashed to the ground. The helicopter was destroyed, and the certificated flight instructor and student were killed. The flight had departed Scottsdale Airport about 30 minutes earlier and was operating in the traffic pattern practicing touch-and-go landings. The pilot-in-command had accumulated 180 pilot flight hours, all of which were in the R22. The student pilot had accumulated 245 pilot flight hours, 76 of which were in helicopters and 34 in the R22. Visual meteorological conditions reportedly prevailed at the time of the accident. Winds near the accident site were reported from 120 degrees at 4 knots; visibility was 30 miles, and the temperature was 48 degrees F.

Pieces of the helicopter wreckage were found scattered over a 270-foot area on a level undeveloped field adjacent to a paved road, approximately 1/2 mile north of Scottsdale Airport. Sections of the red and white tail boom were located west and north of the main wreckage. Two sections of the tail rotor assembly were located northwest of the main wreckage. The first section measured 18 inches and was located at about 150 feet, and the second section (including the forward end of the tail rotor, drive shaft, and damper) was found 250 feet from the main wreckage.

The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, engine, transmission, main rotor assembly, and 24 inches of the tail boom that remained attached to the fuselage. Examination of the main rotor blades showed evidence of impact damage and red paint transfer on the bottom surface of the blades. Both main rotor blade pitch bearings were found to rotate freely, and control continuity was established to the swash plate assembly. The cyclic and collective control system exhibited no evidence of fatigue or pre impact failure.

The tail rotor drive shaft turned freely and exhibited no evidence of binding or pre impact failure. Disassembly of the engine revealed no evidence of mechanical failure or anomalies before impact.


1. NTSB Identification: LAX87FA147 at
2. FAA:

Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
07-Feb-2016 22:30 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
07-Feb-2016 22:31 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
07-Feb-2016 22:31 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
19-Sep-2016 14:41 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source]
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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