Sunday, July 2, 2017

MBB BK 117 B-1, N150KF, owned and operated by Air Methods Corporation, doing business as Kids Flight: Accident occurred July 01, 2017 in Perryville, Missouri

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; St. Louis, St. Anne, Missouri

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Owned and operated by Air Methods Corporation, doing business as Kids Flight


NTSB Identification: CEN17LA252
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Saturday, July 01, 2017 in Perryville, MO
Aircraft: MESSERSCHMITT-BOLKOW-BLOHM BK 117 B2, registration: N238BK
Injuries: 5 Minor.

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 July 1, 2017, about 2036 central daylight time, a Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm BK 117 B2, N238BK, helicopter, landed hard and rolled over during an emergency landing to a field near Perryville, Missouri. The pilot, three crew members, and a passenger received minor injuries, and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was owned and operated by Air Methods Corporation, doing business as Kids Flight, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 medical flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a company visual flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the St. Francis Medical Center (MO50), Cape Girardeau, Missouri, about 2019 and was en route to the St. Louis Children's Hospital (2MU1), St. Louis, Missouri. 

The pilot reported that at 1901, he was notified by the Air Methods Communication Center (AirCom) concerning a flight request. The pilot accepted the flight and after ensuring all necessary requirements were completed, the flight departed at 1922 for MO50, which was approximately 50 nautical miles (nm) to the southeast. The pilot reported that the helicopter departed with 140 gallons of fuel in the main fuel tanks. The flight arrived at MO50 about 1949. 

About 2015, the medical crew arrived at the helicopter pad and loaded the patient on board the helicopter. About 2019, the helicopter departed for 2MU1, which was approximately 85 nm on a 338-degrees heading. The pilot reported that there was 110 gallons in the main fuel tanks. 

The pilot reported that after 15 minutes of flight, he scanned the instruments and gauges "noting that all systems were in the normal range and fuel was transferring from the main tank." He reported that the fuel level indication was approximately 95 gallons in the main tanks and the supply tanks were "just below the full indication," and that there were no illuminated lights on the warning/caution panel. The airspeed was 120 kts at an altitude of 1,600 ft above mean sea level - about 1,200 ft above ground level (agl). 

The pilot reported that when the flight was about 5 miles north of Perryville, Missouri, the helicopter "experienced a sharp change in attitude yawing to the left with a hard-upward bump," followed by a change in the engine noise. He observed the N1 gauges both indicating below 40 per cent and decreasing. The No. 1 engine low warning light, the No. 1 generator light, and the battery discharge warning lights were illuminated. He stated, "Suddenly the aircraft pitched nose up and rolled to the right. I could hear the rotor begin to deteriorate." He entered an autorotation by applying right forward cyclic and lowering the collective to full down. 

During the autorotative descent, he saw a power lines and a ditch which required him to change his flight path to land on the far side of the ditch. He flared the helicopter about 100 ft agl and the rotor rpm began to decay rapidly. He attempted to level the helicopter "as it began to fall through." The helicopter landed right skid low and the helicopter skidded for about 100 ft. The main rotor blades hit the ground as the helicopter rolled onto its right side. Once the helicopter came to a rest, he pulled the power levers to the stop position. 

The pilot and flight crew, with the patient on a stretcher, egressed the helicopter. The pilot reported that he observed fuel draining in a solid stream from one of the drains on the belly of the helicopter. He re-entered the cockpit and turned off all electrical and fuel switches to minimize the risk of fire. 

At 1955, the surface weather observation at Hunter Field (SAR), Sparta, Illinois, located 15 nm northeast of the accident site, was: wind light and variable; 10 miles visibility; sky clear; temperature 26 degrees C; dew point 17 degrees C; altimeter 30.05 inches of mercury.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident. Parties to the investigation include the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Methods Corporation, Honeywell, and the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation, with Airbus as its technical advisor. 

A St. Louis Children’s Hospital helicopter that was carrying a 5-year-old patient and four adults crashed Saturday night near Perryville, authorities said.

Perry County Sheriff Gary Schaaf said he was not aware of any serious injuries. After the crash, the patient, the pilot and other adults who were in the helicopter were taken to a local hospital, Schaaf said.

The helicopter was transporting the 5-year-old to Children’s Hospital when it crashed at Highway C and 234 County Road, according to the sheriff. The Perry County Sheriff’s department was called to the scene about 8:40 p.m.

It’s unclear why the helicopter crashed. The Federal Aviation Administration will arrive Sunday morning to investigate, Schaaf said.

Children's Hospital Critical Care Transport Team posted this message on its Facebook page:

"We would like to inform our fellow community and followers of an incident involving our own KidsFlight 1 helicopter. Today there was an accident involving three med crew members, a pilot and a patient in southern Missouri. We are happy to report that there were no fatalities. We will continue to update you as we know more information and appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we go through this situation."

PERRY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Emergency crews are back out at the site of a medical helicopter crash in Perry County, Missouri on Sunday morning.

A child and four crew members went to the hospital after the crash. It happened around 8:39 p.m. on Saturday, July 1.

According to Corporal Juston Wheetley with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the helicopter went down on County Road 234 near Route C.

A 5-year-old was being taken to Children's Hospital in St. Louis when the helicopter crashed. The helicopter reportedly belongs to Children's Hospital.

Perry County Sheriff Gary Schaff said the aircraft had trouble and crash landed and ended up upside down.

All five people on board were taken to Perry County Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

The 5-year-old will be taken on to Children's Hospital by ambulance.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been called in to investigate.

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