Preliminary Report: Botched practice autorotation
BELL 206L-4, AURORA, COLO., MAY 8, 2003–At 5:15 p.m. MDT Bell N70TV, registered to Helicopters Inc. of Cahokia, Ill., and flown for KMGH-TV in Denver, was destroyed when it collided with terrain during a simulated engine failure in Aurora. The ATP-rated check airman received minor injuries and the commercial pilot and a mechanic passenger were uninjured. The aircraft was operating in VMC and was not on a flight plan.
Preliminary information indicates the helicopter was returning to Denver Centennial Airport after the crew had filmed a news story. According to the NTSB, the check airman, who was seated in the left seat, announced he wanted to simulate an engine failure and practice an autorotation. He took control of the helicopter, reduced power and lowered the collective control. As he initiated recovery, the helicopter struck terrain and rolled over on its left side. The rotor blades were destroyed and the tail boom was severed.