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NTSB Preliminary Report Released: Riverside, CA

Location:

Riverside, CA

Accident Number:

WPR18LA226

Date & Time:

08/17/20181050 PDT

Registration:

N105JL

Aircraft:

Hughes 369

Injuries:

1 Serious, 1 Minor

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional


On August 17, 2018, about 1050 Pacific daylight time, a Hughes 369D helicopter, N105JL, was substantially damaged following a hard landing during a practice autorotation at Riverside Municipal Airport (RAL), Riverside, California. The certified flight instructor received minor injuries and the pilot receiving instruction was seriously injured. The helicopter was registered to Helicopters Unlimited, La Crescenta, California, and operated by Western Helicopters, Inc., Riverside, California, in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological condition prevailed for the local instructional flight, which departed RAL about 1030, and no flight plan was filed.


In a statement submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the certified flight instructor reported that after he and the student had both performed several uneventful power recovery autorotations, he advised the student that the next evolution would be a full touch down, 180o autorotation. The instructor stated that during the maneuver the helicopter was turning back to the runway slower than he wanted it to. When he realized that they were going to be short of the intended landing zone, he advanced the throttle to make a power recovery, but the descent was greater than anticipated. The instructor opined that he then told the student to level the skids, and that he was on the controls to assist him. Subsequently, the helicopter landed hard, which resulted in the tail boom separating and the main rotor blades contacting the ground. The helicopter then spun around to the right, during which the student was ejected from the helicopter.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

Hughes

Registration:

N105JL

Model/Series:

369 D

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Amateur Built:

No

 

 

Operator:

Western Helicopters Inc

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

Pilot School (141); Commuter Air Carrier (135); Rotorcraft External Load (133)

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

RAL, 818 ft msl

Observation Time:

1102 PDT

Distance from Accident Site:

1 Nautical Miles

Temperature/Dew Point:

28°C / 19°C

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Few / 12000 ft agl

Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:

4 knots / Variable

Lowest Ceiling:

None

Visibility

9 Miles

Altimeter Setting:

30.06 inches Hg

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Departure Point:

Riverside, CA (RAL)

Destination:

Riverside, CA (RAL)

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 Serious, 1 Minor

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

1 Serious, 1 Minor

Latitude, Longitude:

33.930833, -117.447500

 

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Thomas Little

Additional Participating Persons:

Roy Peters; Federal Aviation Administration; Riverside, CA

Note:

The NTSB did not travel to the scene of this accident.


 



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