Friday, December 28, 2012

Bell 407, King County Sheriff's Office, N407KS: Accident occurred December 28, 2012 in Renton, Washington 

NTSB Identification: WPR13TA081 
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Friday, December 28, 2012 in Renton, WA
Aircraft: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON CANADA 407, registration: N407KS
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

On December 28, 2012, about 1015 Pacific standard time (PST), a Bell Helicopter, Model 407, N407KS, made a hard landing during a ground handling operation at Renton Municipal Airport (RNT), Renton, Washington. King County Sheriff’s Department was operating the helicopter under public-use. The commercial pilot was not injured; the helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail rotor system and to the fuselage. The local law enforcement flight was preparing to departed Renton when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that while preparing to depart from the raised platform, as he increased the throttle the platform started to rotate. The pilot attempted to stop the rotation by retarding the throttle, but was unsuccessful. The helicopter came off of the platform and the helicopter sustained damage to the tail rotor system, fuselage, and the landing gear.

The platform was locally fabricated by the King County Sheriff’s Department. It consisted of a platform with 8 sets of casters (total of 16 wheels). The sheriff uses these carts to move aircraft in and out of their hangar. With the exception of the rear fixed casters, the remaining 6 sets of casters swivel. The fixed casters (one wheel in each corner of the cart) were chocked to prevent movement of the cart before the aircraft was operated.

Other operators at RNT use similar landing platforms which use six casters. It was noted that these operators chock the corner swivel casters to prevent movement of the cart.

  Regis#: 407KS        Make/Model: B407      Description: Bell 407
  Date: 12/28/2012     Time: 1815

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

  City: RENTON   State: WA   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Take-off      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: SEATTLE, WA  (NM01)                   Entry date: 12/31/2012

The Guardian One helicopter is seen after the accident.

RENTON, Wash. - One of the helicopters operated by the King County Sheriff's Office will be out of service for a while after an accident at the Renton Airport late Friday morning. 

The chopper, known as Guardian One, was taking off from the trailer used to wheel it in and out of the hangar, when it slipped somehow - a move described by KOMO AIR 4's pilot Gary Pfitzner as skateboarding - and the tail rotor struck the ground.

Some debris from the rotor went flying, but no one was hurt.  The helicopter, one of four operated by the department, is the only one equipped with an infrared camera used to track suspects on the ground.  The accident is under investigation.

Damaged Guardian One helicopter

RENTON, Wash. — The King County Sheriff's Office helicopter Guardian One was damaged at the Renton Airport Friday. The helicopter came off its mobile landing pad. The tail rotor hit the ground and sent debris across the tarmac at the airport. No one was injured. The helicopter was taking off when the rotor hit. The extent of the damage or how long Guardian One will be out of service is not yet known.

King County Sheriff's Office Guardian One, the helicopter that serves as aerial support for the King County Sheriff was damaged today in an incident during warm up. An investigation is underway.

The King County Sheriff's eye in the sky, helicopter Guardian One was damaged in an incident prior to take off on Dec. 28. 

Sergeant Cindi West King County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer said in a statement: 

 "Earlier today our Guardian One Helicopter was preparing to respond to a burglary in progress and was damaged during the warm up phase .

The pilot was preparing the helicopter for lift off. Due to an unknown cause the helicopter became unstable on a dolly and was damaged. No injuries were reported.

The FAA responded to conduct an investigation and has released the helicopter to the Sheriff’s Office for repairs.

The Sheriff’s Office will also be conducting an investigation into the cause of the accident and amount damage sustained. “