Thursday, May 5, 2016

Aerospatiale AS 350B2, Air Methods Corporation, N561AM: Accident occurred April 15, 2016 in Jasper, Pickens County, Georgia

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA159
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, April 15, 2016 in Jasper, GA
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER FRANCE AS350, registration: N561AM
Injuries: 4 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 aircraft accident report.

On April 15, 2016, about 1955 eastern daylight time, a Eurocopter France AS350B2, N561AM, operated by Air Methods Corporation, was substantially damaged after it impacted terrain near Jasper, Georgia. The commercial pilot and three medical flight crewmembers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The helicopter was operating on a company visual flight rules flight plan from Lanier Park Hospital Heliport (38GA), Gainesville, Georgia, to a helipad at Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, Jasper, Georgia. The helicopter emergency medical service flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135.

According to the pilot, he made a downwind approach to the helipad over high tension power lines and then turned onto the final leg of the approach. Then, he noted that the tail rotor became "difficult to control" and the helicopter began a "rapid descent with forward airspeed." The pilot reduced the power and unsuccessfully attempted to perform a go-around maneuver. He configured the helicopter for landing by maintaining forward airspeed, raised the nose of the helicopter, however it impacted the ground and "bounced" three times prior to coming to rest. The pilot and three medical crew members then exited the helicopter without anomaly.

A post-accident examination of the helicopter revealed that the tailboom had partially separated from the airframe, which resulted in substantial damage. In addition, there were no anomalies noted with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation prior to the accident.

Representatives from Airbus Helicopters examined the data from the Vehicle Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD) under federal oversight on April 18, 2016. The data indicated an overtorque event at 107 percent for 2 seconds and 113 percent for 1 second.

4/15/2016 - UPDATE: Statement from Christina Brodsly, Air Methods Director of Corporate Communication

"We can confirm that there was a hard landing in Jasper, Georgia involving an Airbus AS350 B2. Our crew is safe and there were no injuries, and there were no patients on board the aircraft. All the details are being sorted out at this time and there is no room for speculation. We are working closely with the NTSB and FAA as they conduct a thorough investigation."

An Air Methods helicopter was on final approach to Piedmont Mountainside to pick up a patient when it had a hard landing just south of the hospital in an open field. 

There were four crew members on board at the time of the crash and all walked away with no injuries. 

Von Headreak, Jasper Fire Assistant Chief said, "The pilot did an outstanding job of keeping the aircraft upright during this incident." 

The NTSB is handling the accident investigation. 

Original article can be found here:

No comments: