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NTSB Identification: *ERA14CA009*
Date: October 20, 2013
Location: Madison, MS
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS 350 B2
Injuries: 3 Minor.
According to the pilot, he was climbing the helicopter
through 1,300 feet when he felt an “explosion” in his face
that knocked his visor up and affected both his visibility
and crew communications. The pilot was eventually able
to get his visor back down and land the helicopter, where
it was discovered that both windshields were blown out,
the center post and the cabin shell were damaged, the
doors were blown open and onboard medical equipment
was missing. On the ground, a crewmember stated that just
before the event, he had seen a black bird fly toward the
helicopter from above and left, but did not have enough
time to call it out. Analysis of onboard residual bird feathers
and a photograph of the suspect bird carcass indicated that
it was a black vulture, which can weigh up to 4.8 pounds.
NTSB Identification: *ERA14FA010*
Date: October 22, 2013
Location: Somerville, TN
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS 350 B3
Injuries: 3 Fatal.
An Eurocopter AS 350 B3 impacted trees and terrain near
Somerville, Tennessee. The pilot, a registered nurse, and a
respiratory therapist were fatally injured; the helicopter was
destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire. The flight
originated from Hospital Wing Heliport (2TN0), Memphis,
Tennessee, and was en route to Whitehurst Field Heliport
(60TN), Bolivar, Tennessee.
The purpose of the flight was to position the helicopter
at Bolivar to board a patient for transport to Memphis.
According to satellite tracking data provided by the operator,
the helicopter departed 2TN0 at 0547 and proceeded in an
easterly direction, following U.S. Highway 64. About 18
minutes later, the helicopter was observed in a climb and
in a right turn away from the observed course. The last data
point indicated that the helicopter was on a course of 146
degrees and at 98 knots ground speed and at an altitude
of 1,560 feet above mean sea level.
The operator dispatched two aircraft to the last known
position after the pilot did not make the normal 10-minute
position report. One of the pilots observed a fire in a rural
area about 19 miles west of 60TN. First responders confirmed
that the helicopter had crashed at that location.
The aircraft wreckage debris was located in a wooded area
surrounded by cotton and soybean fields, approximately
3,300 feet south of U.S. Highway 64, in Somerville. The
majority of the aircraft structure was burned and totally
consumed by impact forces and a post-impact fire. The
helicopter impacted trees prior to impacting the ground.The
energy path was generally oriented on a magnetic heading
of approximately 090 degrees.
NTSB Identification: *CEN14LA022*
Date: October 23, 2013
Location: Omaha, TX
Aircraft: BELL OH-58C
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
A Bell OH-58C impacted terrain during a hard landing on a
field near Omaha, Texas. The helicopter sustained substantial
damage to the tail boom and main rotor blade(s). The
commercial pilot was uninjured.
The pilot stated that he was approaching to land with a
load of chemical when the left skid dug into high grass
and loose dirt. The helicopter spun around, and the main
rotor contacted the tail boom. The pilot reported that there
was no mechanical malfunction/failure with the helicopter.
NTSB Identification: *CEN14TA020*
Date: October 26, 2013
Location: Jefferson City, MO
Aircraft: BELL OH-58A
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.
A Bell OH-58A helicopter was substantially damaged during
a forced landing near the Jefferson City Memorial Airport
(JEF), Jefferson City, Missouri.The pilot-receiving-instruction
sustained minor injuries. The flight instructor was not injured.
The public-use helicopter was under the provisions of 14
Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, without a flight plan.
The pilot-receiving-instruction reported that the purpose of
the flight was to remain in the traffic pattern for runway 30
while practicing autorotation landings. He stated that after
approximately 45 minutes of flight training, the engine
began to fluctuate between full and half power while the
helicopter was climbing on a downwind leg.The helicopter
also experienced an uncommanded yaw with each engine
power fluctuation. The flight instructor took control of the
helicopter and entered an autorotation from an altitude of
less than 1,000 feet above the ground. The pilot-receiving-
instruction reported that the gas generator speed was less
than 50%, the turbine temperature was about 300°C, and the
main rotor speed was at 100% during the autorotation. The
flight instructor began the landing flare about 50 above the
ground and the helicopter touched down in a level attitude.
However, shortly after touchdown, the helicopter rotated to
the left after a landing skid dug into the soft terrain.
The flight instructor reported that the helicopter experienced
an intermittent left yawing motion that he associated with
an interruption in engine power. Believing that a total loss of
engine power was imminent, he took control of the helicopter
and entered an autorotation toward a nearby open field. He
stated that the helicopter touched down with a slight forward
ground run, during which the left skid dug into the soft soil
causing the helicopter to rotate 180-degrees before it came
to a stop. The main rotor blades severed the tail boom from
the fuselage during the forced landing.
NTSB Identification: *WPR14LA038*
Date: October 29, 2013
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER FRANCE AS 350
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.
An Eurocopter France AS-350 B3 helicopter was substantially
damaged when it landed hard following a loss of main rotor
rpm at Kona International Airport, Kailua/Kona, Hawaii. The
flight instructor received minor injuries and the commercial
pilot receiving training was not injured. The flight had been
airborne for about 17 minutes.
The purpose of the flight was to practice the emergency
procedure for failure of the engine’s electronic fuel governor.
The instructor moved the Auto/Man switch to the Man
(manual) position when the helicopter was on the ground
with the engine running. The pilot receiving instruction
took off and flew for about 10 minutes to gain familiarity
with operating the twist-grip throttle. On final approach,
the pilot receiving training noted a drop in the main rotor
rpm. He applied full wrist-grip throttle, but the rotor rpm
continued to decline. The flight instructor then attempted
to increase his wrist-grip throttle, but it was already in the
full position. The helicopter landed hard, and the tail boom
separated from the fuselage.
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