Sunday, June 25, 2017

Eurocopter EC-130B-4 (AS-350B-4), N974BR, Jayhawk Inc: Accident occurred July 03, 2015 in Somerset, Gunnison County, Colorado

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Registered Owner: Jayhawk Inc
Operator: Jayhawk Inc
Operator Does Business As: Aspen Heli Charter

Jayhawk Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N974BR

NTSB Identification: CEN15CA312
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, July 03, 2015 in Somerset, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/11/2015
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER EC 130 B4, registration: N974BR
Injuries: 5 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 pilot had flown multiple trips into and out of the ranch prior to the accident. He also had seen wires in the area and had a discussion with local fishing guides regarding the location of wires in the area. As the pilot was preparing to depart the ranch with the last load of passengers he was approached by a guide who wanted to video the helicopter for their website. The pilot agreed and after lifting off, made a pass near the ranch for the video. The pilot stated he was flying toward the mountains when he heard a "small ting" and he knew the helicopter contacted a wire. He made an uneventful off airport landing in a nearby clearing. Although the pilot stated he never saw the wire it was later determined the helicopter contacted was a small copper static wire. A postaccident inspection of the helicopter revealed two of the three main rotor blades were beyond repair, at least two of the Fenestron blades were beyond repair, and the entire Fenestron stator blade assembly needed to be replaced.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to fly at a low altitude when he was aware that there were wires in the area which resulted in the helicopter contacting a wire.

The pilot stated he made two flights to the ranch to drop passengers off and was on his second flight transporting the passengers out of the ranch when the accident occurred. The pilot stated he had seen some wires in the area and had a discussion with the local fishing guides about the location of wires in the area, how dangerous the wires were, and how hard they were to see. The pilot reported that as he was preparing to depart with the last load of passenger, one of the fishing guides asked if he could video the helicopter for their website. The pilot reported he agreed and discussed where he would fly so the helicopter could be filmed. The pilot took off and flew a pass for the video. He stated he was flying toward the mountains when he heard a "small ting." The pilot reported he knew he hit a wire from the sound, but he did not see it. He made an uneventful off airport landing in the nearest clearing. The pilot reported the wire that the helicopter contacted was a small copper static wire. A postaccident inspection of the helicopter revealed two of the three main rotor blades were beyond repair, at least two of the Fenestron blades were beyond repair, and the entire Fenestron stator blade assembly needed to be replaced.

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