Friday, April 21, 2017

Robinson R44 Raven II, N899GB: Accident occurred April 20, 2017 in Orlando, Orange County, Florida

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aero Specialty Finance LLC:

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA163
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, April 20, 2017 in Orlando, FL
Aircraft: ROBINSON R44, registration: N899GB
Injuries: 3 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 20, 2017, about 1030 eastern daylight time, a Robinson R44 II, N899GB, registered to Aero Specialty Finance, LLC, and operated by Air Florida Helicopter Charters, Inc., was substantially damaged during a hard landing near Orlando, Florida. The commercial pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated about 5 minutes earlier from Air Orlando Heliport (2DF7), Orlando, Florida. The revenue sightseeing flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot stated that while flying southbound at 600 ft, he heard and felt a loud "pop" that was accompanied by a yaw to the right, vibration, and engine roughness. He entered an autorotative descent to the median between two roads, and upon touchdown, the helicopter began to roll forward. He applied aft cyclic input, and the main rotor blades contacted the tailboom. Once the helicopter was stable on the ground, he secured it, and then had the passengers evacuate after the main rotor blades came to rest.

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