Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hughes 369D, N138WH, Winco Inc: Fatal accident occurred November 07, 2017 in Sulphur, Louisiana

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Winco Inc:

NTSB Identification: CEN18LA026
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 07, 2017 in Sulphur, LA
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D, registration: N138WH
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 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 November 7, 2017, at 0934 central standard time, a Hughes 369D helicopter, N138WH, was not damaged when its external cargo long line severed after contacting a shield wire suspended between power transmission towers located near Sulphur, Louisiana. The two linemen who were being hoisted on the long line were fatally injured when they fell about 100 ft to the ground. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Winco, Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 133 as an external load flight without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight that departed at 0932 from a temporary landing zone located near the accident site.

According to the power company, the purpose of the flight was to install guard ropes between the deenergized power transmission lines before the existing shield wire from the nearby transmission tower was unsecured. The east/west power transmission lines crossed perpendicular over North Claiborne Street. There were three sets of bundled conductors (northern, center, and southern). The pilot reported that following a preflight safety briefing he and one of the linemen discussed the expected work tasks. The pilot stated that following his discussion with the lineman he brought the helicopter into a hover above the linemen to allow them to hook onto the external cargo long line. He then repositioned the helicopter to allow the linemen to work on the center conductor bundle. The pilot reported that after the linemen had tied-off the guard rope to the center conductor bundle, he repositioned the helicopter to allow work on the northern conductor bundle. The pilot reported that he saw one of the linemen grab hold of the conductor, and at the same time he also observed the long line in contact with the shield wire. The pilot stated that the long line severed as he turned the helicopter into the wind and attempted to coax the linemen away from the northern conductors. The pilot reported that immediately before the long line severed he observed one of the linemen tugging at the conductor in an attempt to reposition the guard rope perpendicular to the conductors. After the long line severed, he returned to the landing zone and made an uneventful landing. The pilot did not report any malfunction or failures with the helicopter that would have prevented normal operation. According to postaccident measurements made by local law enforcement and witness video footage of the flight, the 60 ft long unsheathed long line separated about midspan while it was in contact with the braided steel shield wire suspended between power transmission towers.

The nearest aviation weather reporting station was located about 9 nautical miles south of the accident site at Southland Field Airport (UXL), Sulphur, Louisiana. At 0935, the UXL automated surface observing system reported: wind from 210 degrees at 8 knots; visibility 10 miles; broken ceilings at 1,400 ft above ground level (agl), 2,400 ft agl, and 3,000 ft agl; temperature 27°C; dew point 23°C; and an altimeter setting of 30.11 inches of mercury.

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KLFY)-UPDATE:The two men have been identified as Nicholas Gamalski, 27, and Travis Chiokai, 26, both from California.

ORIGINAL STORY: At approximately 9:30 a.m. this morning, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the area of N. Claiborne Street and W. Houston River Road in Sulphur in reference to two men who had fallen from a helicopter.

When deputies arrived they discovered two men, both in their 20’s and both from California, dead.

During further investigation, it was learned the two men were working on the electrical lines in the area from a helicopter.

It appears their safety harness was rubbing against the power lines, causing it to snap and causing them to fall about 100 feet from the helicopter.

Both men were pronounced dead by medical personnel at the scene.

Foul play is not suspected, the deaths appear to be accidental.  Next of kin has not been notified so their names have not been released.

Original article can be found here ➤

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Two contractors from California died after falling from a helicopter in Sulphur around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, authorities said.

The two men, both in their 20s and from California, were working on electrical lines from a helicopter in the area of N. Claiborne Street and W. Houston River Road, said Kim Myers, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

"It appears their safety harness was rubbing against the power lines, causing it to snap and causing them to fall about 100 feet from the helicopter," Myers said.

Myers said that the deaths appear to be accidental and that foul play is not suspected.

The men's next of kin have not yet been notified.

Story and photo gallery ➤

No comments: