Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Robinson R22 Beta II, N306RL: Accident occurred November 15, 2016 at Brandywine Airport (KOQN), West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N306RL

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: West Chester, PA
Accident Number: ERA17LA046
Date & Time: 11/15/2016, 1500 EST
Registration: N306RL
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On November 15, 2016, about 1500 eastern standard time, a Robinson R22, N306RL, was substantially damaged during a practice autorotation landing at Brandywine Airport (OQN), West Chester, Pennsylvania. The flight instructor and a student pilot were not injured. The helicopter was privately owned and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight departed OQN about 1430.

The flight instructor reported that he was demonstrating straight-in autorotation landings to a power recovery using the runway. The wind was generally from the north, but shearing from the northeast to the northwest, horizontally. During an autorotation to runway 9/27, he began to flare about 40 feet above the ground. At 20 feet, a large gust with a horizontal wind shear caused the helicopter to drift to the right and lose tail rotor effectiveness. He corrected the drift and heading with flight control inputs, returned to the runway, and continued the flare. During the last portion of the flare, a vertical wind shear was encountered, and the helicopter climbed, uncommanded, about 20 feet. At that point, "all wind stopped," and the helicopter descended. He attempted a power recovery; however, the helicopter landed hard on the skids, with some sideward motion. The helicopter bounced, the left skid broke, and the aircraft rolled and came to rest on its left side. The two pilots egressed the helicopter and were met by first responders.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage to the airframe was confirmed The main rotor blades were deformed from impact forces and the tail boom was partially separated. He determined that the helicopter was operated within the aircraft's weight and balance limitations at the time of the accident; however, it was operated at the forward center of gravity limit. The pilots weighed about 200 pounds each, which placed the helicopter near the upper weight limit. His examination of the wreckage did not reveal evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction. He reported that the surface wind at the time of the accident varied between 330 and 350 degrees at 11 to 14 knots.

The flight instructor did not report any preaccident mechanical malfunction or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation. 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 45, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/07/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/15/2015
Flight Time:  5554 hours (Total, all aircraft), 5372 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 150 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 41, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  42 hours (Total, all aircraft), 42 hours (Total, this make and model), 12 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY
Registration: N306RL
Model/Series: R22 Mariner
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1998
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2833M
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/20/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1369 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 50 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3121 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: O-360-J2A
Registered Owner: THREE IF BY AIR INC
Rated Power: 145 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MQS, 660 ft msl
Observation Time: 1455 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / -4°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 10000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 300°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.81 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: West Chester, PA (OQN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: West Chester, PA (OQN)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1430 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: Brandywine Airport (OQN)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 462 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 27
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3347 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Simulated Forced Landing 

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: 39.990000, -75.581944 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA046
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 15, 2016 in West Chester, PA
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R22, registration: N306RL
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 November 15, 2016, about 1547 eastern standard time, a Robinson R22, N306RL, was substantially damaged during a practice autorotation landing at Brandywine Airport (OQN), West Chester, Pennsylvania. The commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured. The helicopter was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight departed OQN about 1530.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot was practicing a crosswind straight-in autorotation. During the flare to level off, a gust of wind was encountered. A left pedal input was initiated to correct for the wind. The wind gust resulted in a climb of about 30 feet. The helicopter then descended rapidly while drifting to the right. The helicopter landed hard, bounced, and departed the runway surface. The helicopter came to rest on its left side in a grassy area and the pilot and passenger exited the cockpit.

An inspector with the FAA responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage was confirmed; the main rotor blades were deformed from impact forces and the tail boom was partially separated.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.




WEST CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- A helicopter had a hard landing at the Brandywine Airport Tuesday afternoon, according to Chester County officials.

The incident was reported at around 3:30 p.m. at the airport located at 1205 Ward Avenue in West Chester.

Chopper 6 over the scene showed a truck towing the wrecked helicopter from the scene.

There are no reported injuries.

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