Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Accident of the Week

This one caught the IFR Pilot's attention, as it involved Part 133 operations. Part 133, you ask? That's right. Not Part 91, 121, or even 135. Part 135, as in "Rotorcraft External Load."

From the report, the actual incident doesn't seem to have involved the external load. It also sounds like the accident was over in the blink of an eye.

Greybeard, any ideas here? What would cause a helicopter to go inverted?

NTSB Identification: SEA06LA067
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Friday, March 17, 2006 in Dayville, OR
Aircraft: Kaman K-1200, registration: N263KA
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On March 17, 2006, about 0935 Pacific standard time, a Kaman K-1200 helicopter, N263KA, collided with terrain in an uncontrolled descent following a loss of engine power while hovering out of ground effect about 16 nautical miles north of Dayville, Oregon. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, received fatal injuries, and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Grizzly Mountain Aviation Inc. of Prineville, Oregon. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 133 flight. The helicopter was being used for long-line logging and operations for the day had commenced about 0700.

Witnesses reported to local authorities that the pilot set down a load of logs and stated on the radio that he was going to reposition the helicopter to land at the service area. At this point, the helicopter was about 200 feet agl, hovering, with the long line still attached. The witnesses then heard the engine "shutdown." They observed the helicopter descend vertically, roll inverted, impact the ground in the inverted position, and roll onto its left side. There was no fire. During examination of the helicopter at the accident site under the supervision of an FAA inspector, 80 gallons of fuel were drained from the helicopter's fuel system, and the fuel filter and fuel samples appeared to be clean.

A lovely little whirlybird, no?

1 comment:

Greybeard said...

Good question.

This particular machine has had a pretty sketchy history. I bet buying insurance for it will begin to be pretty difficult......the machine in this report went down within a week of another crashing, although the second one didn't result in a fatality.....they were both owned by the same company.

Why did it go inverted?
Anything I suggest would be speculation, but one interesting thing to consider......what if one rotor went to full pitch while the other didn't?