Friday, August 04, 2006

Accident of the Week

So, it's after 4:00 p.m. on Friday, and y'all thought the IFR Pilot wasn't going to deliver on promises of returning Accident of the Week postings, huh? Gotcha. Here's this week's doozy:

NTSB Identification: LAX06LA247
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 28, 2006 in Flagstaff, AZ
Aircraft: Robinson R44, registration: N74780
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 July 28, 2006, about 0800 mountain standard time, a Robinson R44, N74780, collided with trees and rolled over during a forced landing near Flagstaff, Arizona. The forced landing was precipitated by a loss of engine power. Western Consulting, Inc., was operating the helicopter under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries; the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The personal cross-country flight departed Flagstaff about 0755 en route to Phoenix, Arizona. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot departed Flagstaff under a layer of overcast clouds at 150 feet. The helicopter could not maintain altitude, so the pilot performed an autorotation into a small clearing. The rotor blades hit trees during the landing; the helicopter landed hard, and rolled over.
Fling-wingers, do tell: Would you feel comfortable taking off into a 150 foot overcast? Seems awfully dangerous. Even if the surrounding terrain is relatively flat, seems like you could be pretty close to plenty of cell towers, major power lines, etc. Just doesn't seem prudent to the IFR Pilot.

Oh, and we had another incident at the Home Base. Seems that a student pilot may have been taking off with a tail wind. She skidded off the runway and flipped the plane. Fortunately, she wasn't severely injured. But the picture sure makes it look pretty bad:

1 comment:

Greybeard said...

Yeah, 150' is pretty much a no-go situation. With that ceiling, I bet the vis. was pretty bad too.
Unless he was looking to hover/reposition just down the street, he did a stupid thing.