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NTSB Preliminary Report Released: Clanton, AL


National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

 

 

Location:

Clanton, AL

Accident Number:

ERA19FA047

Date & Time:

11/16/20181130 CST

Registration:

N510CP

Aircraft:

BELL OH 58C

Injuries:

2 Fatal

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning

 

On November 16, 2018, about 1130 central standard time, a Bell OH-58C, N510CP, struck powerlines and came to rest in the Coosa River, near Clanton, Alabama. The helicopter was owned and operated by the Columbus Georgia Police Department. The commercial pilot and student pilot passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The positioning flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and was destined for Chilton County Airport (02A), Clanton, Alabama. The flight departed Columbus Airport (CSG), Columbus, Georgia, about 1025 eastern standard time and stopped at Auburn University Regional Airport (AUO), Auburn, Alabama, to pick up the passenger before continuing to 02A.

According to witness statements, the helicopter approached the river from the east and flew north over the river. It was flying low, made a left turn and then flew south over the river. One witness observed the helicopter "catch" the powerlines, turn and impact the water. Another witness lost sight of the helicopter before hearing an explosion. Both witnesses saw the helicopter in the water and noted that the powerlines were no longer there.

At the accident site, the Coosa River was about 1,500 ft wide. The wreckage was located midway across the river, about 700 ft from shore, about 400 ft downstream from powerlines.

The four-seat helicopter was manufactured in 1970. It was powered by a Rolls-Royce/Allison M250, 250-horsepower turboshaft engine.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land, instrument airplane, rotorcraft-helicopter, and remote pilot. The pilot applied for BasicMed privileges on August 9, 2017. At that time, he reported 765 total flight hours.

At 1135, the weather conditions reported at Merkel Field/Sylacauga Municipal Airport (SCD), about 20 miles north of the accident site included, wind from 290° at 6 knots; visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, temperature 11° C, dew point 3° C; and an altimeter setting of 30.19 inches of mercury.

Examination of the wreckage was pending its recovery from the river.

 

 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

BELL

Registration:

N510CP

Model/Series:

OH 58C No Series

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Amateur Built:

No

 

 

Operator:

Columbus Police Department

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

None

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

KSCD, 569 ft msl

Observation Time:

1135 CST

Distance from Accident Site:

22 Nautical Miles

Temperature/Dew Point:

11°C / 3°C

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Clear

Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:

6 knots / 290°

Lowest Ceiling:

None

Visibility

10 Miles

Altimeter Setting:

30.19 inches Hg

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Departure Point:

Auburn, AL (AUO)

Destination:

Clanton, AL (02A)

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

2 Fatal

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

2 Fatal

Latitude, Longitude:

32.822222, -86.459167

 

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Millicent M Hill

Additional Participating Persons:

Clay Caessens; FAA/FSDO; Birmingham, AL

Mark Stutzner; Bell Heliopter; Fort Worth, TX

Jack Johnson; Rolls-Royce; Indianapolis, IN

Note:

The NTSB traveled to the scene of this accident.

 

 





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