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but leaning to the left. The tail boom had separated just aft
of the stabilizer, the tail rotor gear box was torn from the
tail boom, and the helicopter’s transmission was tilted aft
and had broken free from the driveshaft. Both main rotor
blades had impact damage, consistent with striking the tail
boom and horizontal stabilizer.
NTSB Identification: *ERA14LA293*
Date: June 17, 2014
Location: Allentown, PA
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269C-1
Injuries: 1 Minor.
On June 17, 2014, about 1205 eastern daylight time, a
Schweizer 269C-1 was substantially damaged while
encountering ground resonance at Lehigh Valley
International Airport (ABE), Allentown, Pennsylvania. The
airline transport pilot (airplanes, student helicopter pilot)
sustained minor injuries. The local solo instructional flight
was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal
Regulations Part 91.
According to the pilot, she landed the helicopter after a
40-minute flight and started the shut-down procedures.
She applied the collective friction and started the timer,
running the engine at 2,500 rpm for a cool down period.
She turned off the boost pump and radios, and pulled out
the checklist to ensure she had completed the proper items.
She then engaged the collective friction and was tightening
the cyclic friction at the cyclic base when the helicopter
developed ground resonance.
The pilot couldn’t get the helicopter airborne with the
frictions engaged, so she rolled the throttle to idle. The
resonance continued to increase, and“in a matter of seconds,
the helicopter shook itself apart.”The pilot could only hold
on until the movement stopped, at which time, she secured
the engine then subsequently climbed out of the helicopter.
NTSB Identification: *CEN14LA312*
Date: June 23, 2014
Location: Texarkana, TX
Aircraft: AIRBUS HELICOPTERS AS-350B2
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.
An Airbus Helicopters AS-350B2 was substantially
damaged following an autorotation near Texarkana, Texas.
The commercial pilot, two crew members, and passenger
were not injured.
According to a statement provided by the pilot, the helicopter
was in cruise flight about 1,000 feet agl and five minutes from
landing at the destination. The pilot noticed the helicopter’s
rotor RPM rapidly increased with the associated high rotor
aural warning. He attempted to troubleshoot the malfunction
before deciding to perform an autorotation to a farm field.
During the landing from the autorotation, the main rotors
contacted and partially severed the tail boom resulting in
The helicopter was retained for further examination.
NTSB Identification: *ERA14LA311*
Date: June 24, 2014
Location: Nashville, TN
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
A Robinson R44 II was substantially damaged during an
autorotation near Nashville, Tennessee. The commercial
pilot and his passenger were uninjured.
According to the pilot, during a cross county flight from
Florida to Wisconsin he made a fuel stop at JWN. After
departing the airport ramp the pilot turned left and flew
north towards a group of broadcast towers. About 1.5
nautical miles from the airport and about 400 feet above
ground level, the pilot initiated a climb to clear a hill covered
by tall trees. The helicopter was flying at about 70 knots.
The pilot heard “what seemed to be a backfire”, then the
engine started to run “very rough”, which was followed by
an abrupt loss of altitude. He lowered the collective and the
low rotor rpm horn activated and the low rotor rpm light
illuminated. The pilot then turned to the west and initiated
an autorotation. He glanced at the engine/rotor rpm gauge
and noticed the engine was running about 70% rpm and
the rotor rpm was in the green. The engine continued to run
rough. While searching for a suitable landing site, the pilot
observed light traffic on a nearby 5 lane highway. Flying at
about 60 knots with 100% rotor rpm, the pilot descended
the helicopter towards the highway. The helicopter passed
over 2 semi-trucks, and the pilot pulled collective to about
90% rotor rpm to clear wires. He then retarded the throttle
and initiated a full down autorotation. During landing the
helicopter dropped from about “3 ft.”, landed in a level
attitude, and the main rotor contacted the tail boom.
The wreckage was retained for further examination.
NTSB Identification: *CEN14LA326*
Date: June 27, 2014
Location: Mayhill, NM
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE AS350B
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor,2 Uninjured.
On June 27, 2014, at 1715 mountain daylight time, an
Aerospatiale AS350B helicopter collided with the terrain
while landing at a private heliport in New Mexico. The
commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured. One
passenger received minor injuries and a third passenger
was seriously injured. The helicopter was substantially
damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for
the flight which not operated on a flight plan. The flight
originated from the Artesia Municipal Airport (ATS), Artesia,
New Mexico, at 1645.
NTSB Identification: *WPR14LA272*
Date: June 29, 2014
Location: Dietrich, ID
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE AS350B2
Injuries: 3 Serious.
On June 29, 2014, about 1730 mountain daylight time, an
Aerospatiale AS350B2, collided with terrain near Dietrich,
Idaho. Reeder Flying Service was operating the helicopter
under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
Part 135.The commercial pilot and two passengers sustained
serious injuries. The helicopter sustained substantial
damage during the accident sequence. The cross-country
aerial photography flight departed Twin Falls, Idaho, about
1630 with a planned destination of Rexburg, Idaho. Visual
meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight
plan had been filed. Witnesses reported that the helicopter
was proceeding in a northeasterly direction, when it made
a sudden 180 degree reversal to the southwest. It began a
rapid tail-first descent into the ground.
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