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NTSB Final Report: Shamokin, PA

 

Location:

Shamokin, PA

Accident Number:

GAA19CA514

Date & Time:

08/25/2019, 0945 EDT

Registration:

N653CH

Aircraft:

Hughes 269A

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Defining Event:

Hard landing

Injuries:

2 None

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

The helicopter pilot reported that he was being evaluated for a pilot position with a perspective employer, who was an airplane pilot-rated passenger and occupied the right front seat. He was asked to perform an autorotation as part of the evaluation, and while entering the autorotation, he noticed that the rotor and engine needles were split and that the engine tachometer indicated 0 rpm. He believed that the engine had failed. The pilot maintained the rotor rpm in the green and entered a flare about 40 ft above ground level. He attempted to cushion the landing, but the helicopter landed hard. The pilot reported that he could not hear if the engine was running during the flight because he was wearing a noise-canceling headset.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the horizontal airframe tube cross-member.

During postaccident examination of the helicopter, the throttle linkage functioned normally. All spark plugs were removed and examined and exhibited indications of normal combustion. A fuel sample was obtained through the sump valve, and no water or particulate contamination was found. No evidence of any preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures were found with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper landing flare during an autorotation, which resulted in a hard landing. Contributing to the accident was a loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination revealed no evidence of any preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Findings

Aircraft

 

Personnel issues

Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Not determined

Not determined - Unknown/Not determined (Factor)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Autorotation

Hard landing (Defining event)

 

 

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Flight Instructor; Commercial; Private

Age:

27, Male

Airplane Rating(s):

None

Seat Occupied:

Left

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Helicopter

Restraint Used:

 

Instrument Rating(s):

Helicopter

Second Pilot Present:

Yes

Instructor Rating(s):

Helicopter; Instrument Helicopter

Toxicology Performed:

No

Medical Certification:

Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

11/09/2017

Occupational Pilot:

Yes

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

08/25/2018

Flight Time:

(Estimated) 378 hours (Total, all aircraft), 4 hours (Total, this make and model), 311 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 60 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 22 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

 

 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

Hughes

Registration:

N653CH

Model/Series:

269A No Series

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Year of Manufacture:

1965

Amateur Built:

No

Airworthiness Certificate:

Normal

Serial Number:

96-0653

Landing Gear Type:

Skid

Seats:

2

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

 Unknown

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

1670 lbs

Time Since Last Inspection:

 

Engines:

1 Reciprocating

Airframe Total Time:

 

Engine Manufacturer:

Lycomiing

ELT:

 

Engine Model/Series:

HIO-360

Registered Owner:

Kelley Aviation Consultants Llc

Rated Power:

180 hp

Operator:

Kelley Aviation Consultants Llc

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

None

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

KSEG, 450 ft msl

Distance from Accident Site:

14 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

1253 UTC

Direction from Accident Site:

266°

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Few / 7500 ft agl

Visibility

10 Miles

Lowest Ceiling:

 

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

Calm /

Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:

/

Wind Direction:

 

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

/

Altimeter Setting:

30.31 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

17°C / 14°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

No Obscuration; No Precipitation

Departure Point:

Shamokin, PA (N79)

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Destination:

Shamokin, PA (N79)

Type of Clearance:

None

Departure Time:

0900 EDT

Type of Airspace:

Class G

 

Airport Information

Airport:

Northumberland County (N79)

Runway Surface Type:

Asphalt

Airport Elevation:

880 ft

Runway Surface Condition:

Dry

Runway Used:

08

IFR Approach:

None

Runway Length/Width:

3297 ft / 75 ft

VFR Approach/Landing:

Forced Landing; Simulated Forced Landing; Traffic Pattern

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 None

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

1 None

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

2 None

Latitude, Longitude:

40.836944, -76.552500 (est)

  


Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Michael A Hicks

Report Date:

03/17/2020

Additional Participating Persons:

Bill Haase; FAA; Harrisburg, PA

Publish Date:

03/17/2020

Note:

This accident report documents the factual circumstances of this accident as described to the NTSB.

Investigation Docket:

http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/dockList.cfm?mKey=100158





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