Monday, September 25, 2017

MD Helicopters MD530F (369F), N5189K, operated by the Gwinnett County Police Department: Accident occurred September 01, 2017 at Gwinnett County Airport (KLZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

County of Gwinnett Georgia:

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA305
14 CFR Public Aircraft
Accident occurred Friday, September 01, 2017 in Lawrenceville, GA
Aircraft: MD HELICOPTER 369, registration: N5189K
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 September 1, 2017, at 1058 eastern daylight time, a MD Helicopters 369FF, N5189K, was substantially damaged while on approach to following an inflight loss of helicopter control at Gwinnett County Airport (LZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia. The commercial pilot and a pilot-rated crewmember were seriously injured. The helicopter was operated by the Gwinnett County Police Department as a local public flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at LZU about 1000.

The pilot reported the following that. T the preflight inspection of the helicopter and en route portions of the flight were uneventful. After about 1one hour on station performing law enforcement duties, the pilot returned to LZU due to approaching weather conditions. While approaching the landing zone, the pilot noted a "strong wind gust" followed by a "sudden, uncommanded, violent, right yaw" and "what seemed to be an uncommanded climb." He applied cyclic and pedal inputs; however, the helicopter continued in a right spin for at least two full rotations until it impacted the ground. The pilots were met by first responders and transported to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. He reported that the helicopter came to rest on its right side in the grass, adjacent to a taxiway. There was no fire. Structural damage to the fuselage, tail rotor, and main rotor were confirmed.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The Gwinnett County Police Department says one of their corporals is now paralyzed following a helicopter crash in September.

The chopper crash happened at Briscoe Field on Sept. 1, when the chopper, carrying Officer George McLain, 38, and Corporal Michael Duncan, 46, went down. Both were taken to the hospital.

McLain, the pilot, was released from the hospital several days after the crash, but Duncan was transferred to Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta. He is currently paralyzed from the waist down. 

Gwinnett County officials say Duncan is still having pain but is improving each day. He is working hard with the staff at Shepherd to get back to being as independent as possible.

"We are very hopeful that he will recover and at some point he will return for duty," said Raymer Sale with the Gwinnett Police Foundation. "When police officers get hurt, then the mission changes."

The Gwinnett County Police Foundation will host a golf tournament on Oct. 2 at Chateau Elan.  The proceeds from the tournament will be donated to Duncan. 

It is anticipated that his home will need to be modified to accommodate wheelchair access. His family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money.

"People are really thinking about you. We know you are human beings and we appreciate all you do for us," Sale said. 

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