Home' Heliweb Magazine : Heliweb Magazine August 2014 Contents 24 heliweb.com
NTSB Identification: *WPR14TA236*
Date: June 08, 2014
Location: Mesa, AZ
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS HELICOPTER 369E
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
On June 8, 2014, at 0056 mountain standard time, a
McDonnell Douglas Helicopters 369E landed hard following
a loss of engine power during cruise flight in Mesa, Arizona.
The commercial pilot and commercial pilot rated tactical
flight officer (TFO) were not injured.The helicopter sustained
substantial damage to the tailboom during the accident
sequence. The local flight departed Falcon Field Airport, Mesa,
Arizona at 2315 the night prior. Night visual meteorological
conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
The flight was a routine patrol, and after flying for about
1.4 hours, the pilot performed a series of flight checks
in the vicinity of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Once
complete, they flew to the north and a short time later while
travelling 60-70 knots, about 700 feet agl, the pilot heard
an uncharacteristic change in engine tone accompanied by
a decrease in engine speed.The pilot began to diagnose the
problem, during which time a series of caution warnings
lights illuminated followed by the engine-out tone.
The pilot immediately initiated an autorotation, aiming for
a tree-lined field to the north. The helicopter cleared the
trees, and prior to initiating the flare the pilot realized he
needed to turn on the landing lights in order to properly see
the ground. He was unable to turn them on in time, and he
initiated the flare, landing the helicopter level on the skids.
The main rotor blades subsequently struck and severed the
tailboom just aft of the tail fairing.
NTSB Identification: *ANC14LA041*
Date: June 11, 2014
Location: Anchorage, AK
Aircraft: AIRBUS/EUROCOPTER AS 350 B3
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.
An Airbus/Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter sustained
substantial damage as a result of a main rotor over-speed,
followed by a ground resonance event during the engine
During a telephone conversation with the NTSB investigator-
in-charge (IIC) on June 13, the first pilot, a certificated
flight instructor, reported that he had been hired to ferry
the recently purchased helicopter to Georgetown, Texas. He
added that he was providing AS350 B3 helicopter transition
training to the second pilot, who was also the new owner of
the helicopter. The first pilot reported that after having some
difficulty starting the helicopter, he asked for assistance from
a mechanic and another pilot.
The first pilot noted that while the helicopter was operating
at flight-idle, the yellow “TWT.GRIP”light was illuminated
on the annunciator panel, and he instructed the second
pilot to slowly advance the collective-mounted throttle
twist grip to the open position until the light went out. He
said that as the second pilot began to advance the throttle
to the open position, the engine immediately went to a very
high RPM, and the helicopter began to shake violently, and
it subsequently rotated about 240 degrees to the left. He
said he did an emergency engine shutdown, and then all
the occupants exited the helicopter.
The helicopter’s fuselage and main rotor drive system
sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was equipped
with a Turbomeca Arriel 2B series engine, equipped with a
single channel, Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC)
fuel control system. An NTSB postaccident inspection is
NTSB Identification: *CEN14FA286*
Date: June 11, 2014
Location: South Tim Bailier Platform, GM
Aircraft: BELL 206 L4
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
A Bell 206L4 helicopter impacted the waters in the Gulf of
Mexico. The commercial- rated pilot and passenger were
fatally injured and the helicopter was destroyed. Visual
meteorological conditions prevailed and company flight
following was in effect. The flight departed an oil platform
at 1409, and was en route to the 317 platform.
A witness who was located on the oil platform reported that
he heard the helicopter approach the platform. The helicopter
was on a straight in approach to the platform, when the
helicopter started to spin in a clockwise direction. The
witness added that the helicopter spun 8-10 times, before
the helicopter went silent and then dropped to the water.
The helicopter sank and was recovered from about a depth
of 380 feet of water. Examination of the helicopter showed
extensive damage to the cabin. The tail boom had separated
from the main fuselage and was recovered from the surface of
the water. One of the main rotor blades, which had separated
about four feet from the mast was not recovered. Several
sections of the helicopter were not recovered, and included
the landing skids, cabin door, and floor.
NTSB Identification: *CEN14LA296*
Date: June 17, 2014
Location: Decatur, TX
Aircraft: BELL 206B
Injuries: 2 Minor.
A Bell 206B helicopter made a hard landing at the Decatur
Municipal Airport (KLUD), Decatur, Texas. The helicopter was
The flight instructor, who was scheduled to fly, was not
available to perform the flight. An FAA flight instructor was
then scheduled, and flew in the morning with another FAA
employee. The accident flight was the student’s first flight
with the FAA instructor, and the instructor’s second flight
of the day. The afternoon flight had a similar flight profile
as the morning’s and would typically last about 2.5 hours.
The instructor and student reported that they were about
2 hours into the flight, and had completed a series of
maneuvers, which included straight-in and 180° auto
rotations. To finish up the flight before proceeding back to
Fort Worth, the instructor planned to demonstrate another
180° auto rotation. The instructor reported that he had plenty
of altitude, so he made a slightly wider turn on to final
approach; during the descent the main rotor was in the
mid-to-low green rpm range. He added that he felt that there
was some resistance in the throttle and he didn’t get the
power back in time. He then elected to level the helicopter,
so the tail wouldn’t hit first and roll the helicopter over.
The pilot rated student, reported that on the last 180°auto
rotation, the instructor was at the controls. He added that he
became uneasy during the autorotation, and checked that
the throttle was full-on (for a power recovery).
Examination of the runway revealed a scar consistent with
the tail boom impacting the runway first. The helicopter came
to rest upright partially off the runway, approximately 207
feet, from the first impact point. Numerous marks, consistent
with the helicopter’s landing skids were noted between the
first scar and the helicopter. Examination of the helicopter
revealed that the helicopter was sitting on its landing skids,
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