Friday, July 01, 2016

Eurocopter AS 350 B2, US Dept of Homeland Security, N4035W: Accident occurred June 17, 2016 in McAllen, Hidalgo County, Texas


NTSB Identification: GAA16CA328
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Friday, June 17, 2016 in McAllen, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2016
Aircraft: AIRBUS AS350, registration: N4035W
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The helicopter pilot reported that during the engine run-up sequence while on a movable helicopter pad attached to a tug, he noticed that the right rear door was not secure. The pilot unhooked his shoulder harness to reach back to secure the door. While attempting to reach the door, the pilot reported that he inadvertently applied right tail rotor pedal, which caused the helicopter to spin to the right multiple times. During the rotation the helicopter departed the movable pad, impacted the tug, and came to rest in an upright position on the ground. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer. 

The pilot reported there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's inadvertent input of the right tail rotor pedal, which resulted in a loss of directional control and an impact with service equipment.

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