NTSB Identification: CEN17IA094
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Incident occurred Thursday, January 26, 2017 in Sioux Falls, SD
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER DEUTSCHLAND GMBH MBB BK 117 C-2, registration: N911MK
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
On January 26, 2017, about 2145 central standard time, a Eurocopter Deutschland GMBH MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopter, N911MK, experienced an inflight engine fire and made an emergency landing at Joe Foss Field Airport (FSD), Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The airline transport rated pilot and two crewmembers were not injured. The helicopter sustained minor damage. The helicopter was registered to Avera McKennan and operated by MRIS, LLC., doing business as Avera McKennan Careflight, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as an air medical flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the incident and a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed. The helicopter departed McKennan Hospital Heliport (2SD1), Sioux Falls, at 2128 and was en route to Douglas County Memorial Hospital Heliport (08SD), Armour, South Dakota.
The pilot reported that while flying westbound about 800 ft above ground level (agl), he noticed several caution lights illuminate and heard a "hissing sound and the smell of exhaust in the cabin." The pilot initiated a turn back to Sioux Falls when the No. 2 engine fire light illuminated and he noticed an "orange glow" from the rear of the helicopter. He activated both fire extinguisher bottles and the engine fire light switched off. The pilot continued toward Sioux Falls about 500 ft agl with the No. 2 engine inoperative. The pilot communicated the emergency to the FSD air traffic controller and executed a running landing on runway 3 without further incident.
An initial examination of the helicopter revealed fire damage to the No. 2 engine and cowling. The helicopter was retained for further examination.