NTSB Identification: CEN18FA001
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 01, 2017 in Midland, MI
Aircraft: BRANTLY B 2B, registration: N2284U
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor.
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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On October 1, 2017, at 1447 eastern daylight time, a Brantly B-2B helicopter, N2284U, was substantially damaged during landing in an open field near Midland, Michigan. The pilot sustained fatal injuries and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to Attitude Toys, Inc. and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from the same open field shortly before the accident.
A witness reported flying with the accident pilot from the Jack Barstow Airport (KIKW), about 10 miles east-northeast from the accident site, earlier in the day. The pilot landed near the southwest corner of the field in order to attend a family gathering at a home adjoining the field. This witness stated that some minor turbulence was encountered, but that the flight was otherwise uneventful.
The passenger stated that during the gathering, he decided to take a flight around the field with the pilot. He recalled that the helicopter "shook" a little on takeoff, which he thought was related to local winds. He noted that the tail of the helicopter started to "sway" as they flew over the house located along the east edge of the field, but that the pilot subsequently steadied the helicopter. Near the northeast corner of the field, the helicopter began descending, slowly at first and then more rapidly. He again attributed this to local wind conditions. The rotor speed increased, but the helicopter impacted the ground and subsequently rolled onto its left side before coming to rest. He added that the engine did not quit and that he turned it off with the ignition/magneto key after the accident.
The field was about 900 feet (north to south) by 800 feet (east to west). The accident flight departed from near the southwest corner of the field. The home the helicopter flew over was located along the eastern edge of the field, about 300 feet from the northern boundary. The accident site was located at the north boundary of the field, which was about 0.16 mile north-northeast from the departure point. The helicopter came to rest on its left side oriented on a northwesterly bearing.