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NTSB Preliminary Report: Hayward, CA



Hayward, CA

Accident Number:


Date & Time:

07/15/20191426 PDT




Robinson R44


1 Fatal, 1 Serious

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On July 15, 2019, at 1426 Pacific daylight time, a Robinson R-44 II helicopter, N144TG, was substantially damaged during a low altitude maneuver at Hayward 

Executive Airport (HWD), Hayward, California. The commercial pilot was fatally injured and the student pilot was seriously injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Pacific Helicopters, LLC under the provision of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated from HWD at 1341.

According to the owner of Pacific Helicopters, Inc, the instructor pilot was a part time employee who had been checked out in the accident helicopter on March 29, 2019. On the day of the accident, following several rounds in the helicopter airport traffic pattern, the instructor pilot and student pilot performed hovering maneuvers on a taxiway designated for helicopter training. Archived Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control (ATC) audio indicated that the instructor pilot requested to return to the traffic pattern about 1422, but the controller denied the request and asked the accident flight to hold temporarily. Flight tracking data showed that the helicopter continued to hover for several seconds before slowly maneuvering west and then entering a left turn over a patch of hard dirt and vegetation to the southwest of the taxiway. A surveillance video retrieved from an adjacent building that faced northeast captured the helicopter's shadow during its final movements. The shadow of the helicopter entered the camera view from the left with its nose facing west. After momentarily drifting to the left, in a southern direction, the helicopter performed a rapid turn to the southeast. In its final movement, the helicopter made a rapid turn to the north in a high angle of bank on its left side and a cloud of dust was observed before the helicopter shadow disappeared from the camera view.

The helicopter came to rest on its left side, approximately 50 ft from taxiway Zulu at the top of an approximately 3 foot-tall berm. The main wreckage was comprised of most of the major sections of the helicopter and oriented on a heading of 052° magnetic. Several plexiglass fragments were found several feet forward of the cabin beyond the berm. Two ground scars were adjacent to the main wreckage; one ground scar, about 95 inches in length, was about 14 ft from the main wreckage. The other ground scar was collocated with the main wreckage and marked by two 5 inch deep holes, 14 inches in diameter across both holes. The magnetic heading between the two ground scars was 161°. A 95 inch section of the left landing gear skid was located about 14 ft southeast of the main wreckage and a 2 foot-long section of main rotor blade tip came to rest about 250 ft southwest of the main wreckage (see Figure 1).

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:





R44 II

Aircraft Category:


Amateur Built:





Pacific Helicopters LLC

Operating Certificate(s) Held:



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:


Observation Facility, Elevation:

, 52 ft msl

Observation Time:

1448 PDT

Distance from Accident Site:


Temperature/Dew Point:

22°C / 13°C

Lowest Cloud Condition:


Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:

11 knots / 270°

Lowest Ceiling:



10 Miles

Altimeter Setting:

30.01 inches Hg

Type of Flight Plan Filed:


Departure Point:

Hayward, CA (HWD)


Hayward, CA (HWD)


Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 Fatal, 1 Serious

Aircraft Damage:


Passenger Injuries:


Aircraft Fire:


Ground Injuries:


Aircraft Explosion:


Total Injuries:

1 Fatal, 1 Serious

Latitude, Longitude:

37.655833, -122.123611


Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Stephen R Stein

Additional Participating Persons:

Bart Hauger; Federal Aviation Administration; Oakland, CA

Thom Webster; Robinson Helicopter Company; Torrance, CA


The NTSB traveled to the scene of this accident.

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Created 176 days ago
by jhadmin

Tags CA Hayward NTSB Report
Categories Press Releases

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