Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Robinson R44 II, N74805, Hawaii Pacific Aviation Inc: Accident occurred August 26, 2016 at Kona International Airport at Keahole (HKO), Kailua/Kona, Hawaii

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu, Hawaii
Robinson Helicopters; Torrance, California

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N74805

Location: Kailua/Kona, HI
Accident Number: WPR16LA168
Date & Time: 08/26/2016, 0745 HST
Registration: N74805
Aircraft: ROBINSON R44
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 26, 2016, about 0745 Hawaii standard time, a Robinson R44 II helicopter, N74805, was substantially damaged following a loss of control after landing at the Kona International Airport at Keahole (HKO), Kailua/Kona, Hawaii. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and pilot under instruction (PUI), who is also a CFI, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed during the instructional flight, which was being conducted in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The local flight departed HKO about 0715.

In a written report submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the CFI/pilot in command, reported that as they entered the North Practice Area (NPA) he instructed the PUI to make the first approach to a spot in the middle of the gravel road, which would provide plenty of clearance. The CFI stated that the spot chosen was one of the gravel roads in the NPA, which has a wide area, and is flat and smooth with no large rocks. The CFI further stated that the PUI began his approach on a left downwind, then turned on to base and final "…and everything was looking great. I told him to complete the approach to a full stop on the ground." The CFI reported that the approach was smooth, and that the initial set down was very soft and smooth as well. The CFI opined that once the skids were on the ground, the PUI continued to lower the collective towards the full down position, at which time the helicopter began to rock in a fore and aft motion. The CFI stated that as the intensity quickly increased he came on the controls, and from that point on all that he could recall was that "…we were in the air again in uncontrollable flight." The CFI reported that the helicopter was oscillating intensely, then came to a stop about 20 to 30 ft and a little more than a 45° angle to the forward and left of the initial touchdown point. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage as a result of impact with terrain.

In a statement submitted to the NTSB IIC, the PUI reported that he and his instructor departed from Kona Airport around 7:50 am local time, for the North practice area. Everything was good, and he performed a controlled and smooth normal approach to a flat well open area. The skids touched the ground and then a strong rocking aft and forward movement accompanied by heavy vibrations started. He tried to lower the collective but made it worse, so he tried to pick up to correct, then it felt like the helicopter shot out forward/leftwards approximately 10 feet away from landing spot. He recalled that the cyclic did not respond to inputs well enough, and ended up crashing nose first with a main rotor blade strike in the ground, no dynamic rollover happened. As soon as the helicopter stopped moving, the mixture was pulled out to shut down the engine.

On October 4, 2016, Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspectors assigned to the Honolulu Flight Standards District Office, Honolulu, Hawaii, examined the helicopter.

The tailcone cowling attach points were inspected with the tailcone installed. No damage or defects were noted. The torgue on the tailcone attaching hardware using a calibrated torque wrench was checked. The torque was 655-inch pounds per the manual. The torque broke (nut moved) at 355-inch pounds on all bolts. Additionally, the tailcone was removed and no elongation or damage to the bolts, washers, skin or structure were noted.

Flight Control Servos and Push-Pull Tubes

With the mast fairing removed, the main rotor torque tube, control tubes and servos were examined. No damage or defects were noted. The flight controls were moved through a full range of motion with and without hydraulic power. Control continuity and operation appeared to be normal.

Main Rotor Gearbox Mounts

The main rotor gearbox mounts were inspected with the tailcone and both fuel tanks removed. The inspection of the mounts' rubber portion, as well as the associated ears of the mounts, revealed no damage or defects. Using a calibrated torque wrench, the torque registered on the main transmission bolts was 90-foot pounds, which was consistent with the value denoted in the maintenance manual. 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 45, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Helicopter
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/09/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/02/2016
Flight Time:  650 hours (Total, all aircraft), 74 hours (Total, this make and model), 565 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 126 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 43 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 28, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/17/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/24/2016
Flight Time:  198 hours (Total, all aircraft), 16 hours (Total, this make and model), 128 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: ROBINSON
Registration: N74805
Model/Series: R44 II
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 10934
Landing Gear Type:Skid
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/14/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 80 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5747 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: IO-540
Registered Owner: Hawaii Pacific Aviation Inc.
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: 
Operator Designator Code: RP8S

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: HKO, 47 ft msl
Observation Time: 0753 HST
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 71°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 7000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 23°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots, 150°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Kailua/Kona, HI (KOA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Kailua/Kona, HI (KOA)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0740 HST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Kona International Airport (KOA)
Runway Surface Type: Gravel
Airport Elevation: 47 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 19.743056, -156.032778 (est)

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA168
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 26, 2016 in Kailua/Kona, HI
Aircraft: ROBINSON R44, registration: N74805
Injuries: 2 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 August 26, 2016, about 0745 Hawaii standard time, a Robinson R44 II helicopter, N74805, was substantially damaged following a loss of control after landing at the Kona International Airport at Keahole (HKO), Kailua/Kona, Hawaii. The two certified flight instructors were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed during the personal flight, which was being conducted in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The local flight departed HKO about 0715.

In a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the flight instructor who was acting as pilot-in-command reported that after landing and in the process of bottoming out the collective, the helicopter began to gently oscillate fore and aft about its longitudinal axis. This was followed shortly by the oscillating condition becoming more severe, to the point where one main rotor blade, the tail boom, and the lower vertical fin impacted terrain. The tail boom and lower vertical fin were substantially damaged as the result of the impact with terrain.

The helicopter was secured by the operator pending further investigation.

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