The Robinson R22 pilot reported that, while maneuvering at a low altitude over a field near Homestead, Florida, he looked down at his phone in the cockpit.
By the time he looked back outside, the helicopter’s left skid had hit the ground. Subsequently, the helicopter rolled onto its left side.
The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, tailboom, and rotor systems.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The pilot’s diverted attention to his phone while maneuvering at a low altitude, which resulted in collision with terrain.
NTSB Identification: GAA18CA113
This January 2018 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.