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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 39419
Last updated: 11 February 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R22
Registration: N9069S
C/n / msn: 0181
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:8.5 miles W of Memphis International Airport, Memphis, Tennessee -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Memphis International Airport, Memphis, Tennessee (MEM/KMEM)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
On March 22, 1986, about 14:15 CST (Central Standard Time), a Robinson R22 helicopter, registration N9069S, broke apart during a personal flight 8.5 nautical miles west of its point of origin at Memphis International Airport. The flight had departed at 1247. Both occupants of the R22 were killed, and the helicopter was destroyed. The pilot-in-command had accumulated 2,370 pilot flight hours, 306 of which were in helicopters and 229 in the R22.

The main wreckage (cockpit, skid assembly, and engine) came to rest on a level plowed field. The tail boom and tail rotor assembly had separated from the fuselage, and pieces were located 412 feet northwest of the main wreckage.

Visual meteorological conditions reportedly prevailed with the sky clear, visibility 15 statute miles, winds from 230 degrees at 8 knots, and the temperature 55 degrees F at the time of the accident.

The helicopter's paint scheme was white, blue, and yellow. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the tail boom had separated at the second bay aft of the fuselage attachment point. The leading edges of the main rotor blades exhibited blue and yellow paint transfer. The separated sections of tail boom structure exhibited diagonal impacts from left to right (viewed from aft looking forward) at three locations. One main rotor blade droop stop and both pitch change links were fractured in overload. The upper main rotor mast exhibited indentations corresponding to hub contact.

The base of the main rotor mast was fractured in overload and separated at the top of the transmission. Physical evidence indicated that the bending of the upper main rotor shaft occurred before the fracture of the transmission cap, and secondary to the main rotor blades traveling beyond their normal flapping range. An instability of the main rotor, rocking of the mast, and extreme pitch divergence of the main rotor blades appeared to precede the fractures of the main rotor flight control system.

The helicopter's cyclic and collective controls were examined. There was no evidence of fatigue or pre-impact failure of control system components. A partial disassembly of the engine revealed no evidence of engine internal mechanical malfunction. The Safety Board was unable to define the event that caused the main rotor blades to divert from their normal plane of rotation and strike the tailboom


1, NTSB Identification: ATL86FA097 at
2. FAA:

Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
07-Feb-2016 22:15 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
07-Feb-2016 22:16 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
08-Feb-2016 11:57 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]
18-Sep-2016 18:14 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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