Thursday, June 29, 2017

Eurocopter EC-130B-4 (AS-350B-4), N151GC, registered to American Helicopters LLC and operated by Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters: Accident occurred June 27, 2017 in Boulder City, Nevada

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Registered to American Helicopters LLC
Operated by Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA133
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 27, 2017 in Boulder City, NV
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER EC 130 B4, registration: N151GC
Injuries: 2 Minor, 5 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 June 27, 2017, about 1403 Pacific daylight time, a Eurocopter EC 130 B4, N151GC, sustained substantial damage following a loss of engine power and subsequent forced landing, during which the helicopter contacted power lines, near Boulder City, Nevada. The pilot and four passengers were not injured, and two passengers sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to American Helicopters LLC, and operated by Papillion Grand Canyon Helicopters as an air tour flight under the provision of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and a company flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Boulder City Municipal Airport, Boulder City, Nevada at 1348 with a planned destination of Grand Canyon West Airport, Peach Springs, Arizona.

The pilot reported that as he executed an "S-turn" about 3,000 feet mean sea level, the helicopter made a subtle yaw to the right, which was accompanied by an audible "gong." The pilot lowered the collective and simultaneously noted a yellow engine parameter failure indication on the instrument display. Moments later, the main rotor rpm warning horn activated and was followed by warning lights on the caution warning display. The helicopter began to descend immediately. The pilot elected to perform an autorotation to a nearby helicopter pad. In the attempt to steer away from power lines, the pilot made a left cyclic input; however, the retreating main rotor blade contacted a power line. The pilot continued to maneuver the helicopter and subsequently made an up-slope emergency landing on rising mountainous terrain.

The helicopter was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

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