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NTSB Final Report Released: Page, AZ


National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Final Report

 

 

Location:

Page, AZ

Accident Number:

WPR18LA031

Date & Time:

11/11/20171300 MST

Registration:

N744BS

Aircraft:

ROBINSON HELICOPTER R44

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Defining Event:

Loss of control in flight

Injuries:

2 Minor

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis

 

The commercial pilot was conducting a personal flight in the helicopter to practice operating in the traffic pattern and performing landings and hovers. When the helicopter was transitioning from a hover to forward flight, the nose suddenly pitched down more than expected. The pilot immediately applied aft cyclic but was unable to arrest the downward pitch. The helicopter subsequently impacted the ground and came to rest on its side. The passenger reported that first the skids and then the rotor blades contacted the ground.

During a postaccident examination of the helicopter, flight control continuity was established with no anomalies noted that would have precluded normal operations. Thus, the pilot likely did not maintain a proper pitch attitude while transitioning to forward flight.

 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
 

The pilot's failure to maintain pitch control of the helicopter while transitioning from a hover to forward flight.

 

Findings

Aircraft

Pitch control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues

Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

 

On November 11, 2017, about 1300 mountain standard time, a Robinson R44 helicopter, N744BS, impacted terrain during takeoff from the Page Municipal Airport (PGA), Page, Arizona. The commercial pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries; the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered to R44 White LLC and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originally departed about 1245.

The pilot reported the purpose of the flight was to practice in the traffic pattern, landings, and hovers. After a normal traffic pattern and landing, he hovered the helicopter. While the helicopter was transitioning from hover to forward flight, the nose suddenly pitched down steeper than the pilot expected. The pilot immediately applied aft cyclic, however, he was unable to recover. The helicopter impacted the ground and came to rest on its side.

The passenger reported that the helicopter started to lift off; when it was about one foot above the ground, the helicopter started leaning forward and it continued forward until the skids, then rotor blades, touched the ground.

During a postaccident examination of the helicopter, the collective, cyclic, and left anti-torque pedal were manipulated within the cockpit and corresponding motion was observed at the appropriate flight controls. The right anti-torque pedal moved freely from both within the cockpit and from the tailboom; however, no corresponding motion was observed. Visual examination revealed the control tube was fracture separated underneath the heavily damaged floorboard.

The operator reported that, on the morning of the accident, the owner of the helicopter flew about two hours with the pilot to orient him in the make/model helicopter involved in the accident.

 

 

History of Flight

Takeoff

Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

 

 

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Commercial; Private

Age:

28, Male

Airplane Rating(s):

Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land

Seat Occupied:

Right

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Helicopter

Restraint Used:

3-point

Instrument Rating(s):

Airplane

Second Pilot Present:

No

Instructor Rating(s):

None

Toxicology Performed:

No

Medical Certification:

Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

05/18/2017

Occupational Pilot:

Yes

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

03/16/2017

Flight Time:

(Estimated) 1200 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3 hours (Total, this make and model)

 

 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

ROBINSON HELICOPTER

Registration:

N744BS

Model/Series:

R44

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Year of Manufacture:

2008

Amateur Built:

No

Airworthiness Certificate:

Normal

Serial Number:

12374

Landing Gear Type:

Skid;

Seats:

4

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

09/01/2017, Annual

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

2500 lbs

Time Since Last Inspection:

 

Engines:

1 Reciprocating

Airframe Total Time:

1424 Hours as of last inspection

Engine Manufacturer:

LYCOMING

ELT:

Installed, not activated

Engine Model/Series:

IO-540-AE1A5

Registered Owner:

R44 WHITE LLC

Rated Power:

230 hp

Operator:

On file

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

None

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

PGA, 4316 ft msl

Distance from Accident Site:

0 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

1253 MST

Direction from Accident Site:

 

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Clear

Visibility

10 Miles

Lowest Ceiling:

None

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

6 knots /

Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:

None

Wind Direction:

40°

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

N/A

Altimeter Setting:

30.08 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

18°C / -6°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

No Obscuration; No Precipitation

Departure Point:

Page, AZ (PGA)

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Destination:

Page, AZ (PGA)

Type of Clearance:

None

Departure Time:

1245 MST

Type of Airspace:

 

 

Airport Information

Airport:

Page Municipal Airport (PGA)

Runway Surface Type:

Asphalt

Airport Elevation:

4316 ft

Runway Surface Condition:

Dry

Runway Used:

25

IFR Approach:

None

Runway Length/Width:

2201 ft / 75 ft

VFR Approach/Landing:

Traffic Pattern

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 Minor

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

1 Minor

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

2 Minor

Latitude, Longitude:

36.922222, -111.442222 (est)

 


 


Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Samantha A Link

Adopted Date:

11/15/2018

Additional Participating Persons:

Carey Atnip; Federal Aviation Administration; Las Vegas, NV

Publish Date:

11/15/2018

Note:

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

Investigation Docket:

http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/dockList.cfm?mKey=96319

 

 





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by jhadmin

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