Thursday, November 30, 2017

Robinson R44 II, N744WT, New Orleans Helicopters LLC: Accident occurred November 29, 2017 at Lakefront Airport (KNEW), New Orleans, Louisiana

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; New Orleans, Louisiana

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N744WT

Location: New Orleans, LA

Accident Number: GAA18CA066
Date & Time: 11/29/2017, 1630 CST
Registration: N744WT
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning 

Analysis

The helicopter pilot reported that, while positioning the helicopter on a trailer for maintenance, the helicopter landed on the trailer with the left skid off the platform and the tail rotor struck the ground. The pilot added that the helicopter climbed about 50 ft. and he reduced power. During the descent, the main rotor blade struck the tail boom and the helicopter impacted the pavement.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, tail boom, and main rotor blades.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to land the helicopter with both skids on the trailer platform, which resulted in a loss of control. 

Findings

Aircraft
Performance/control parameters - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues 

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing
Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)

Maneuvering-hover
Loss of control in flight
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Attempted remediation/recovery

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 43, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/01/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/04/2015
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 4670 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3200 hours (Total, this make and model), 4445 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 120 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 43 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY
Registration: N744WT
Model/Series: R44 II
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 11489
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer:  LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-AE1A5
Registered Owner: Kevin Contraery
Rated Power: 245 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Certificate of Authorization or Waiver (COA) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan


Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KNEW, 9 ft msl
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 328°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 18°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  7 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots, 100°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: New Orleans, LA (NEW)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: New Orleans, LA (NEW)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CST
Type of Airspace: Class D 

Airport Information

Airport: LAKEFRONT (NEW)
Runway Surface Type: Metal/Wood
Airport Elevation: 7 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop 

Wreckage and Impact Information


Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  30.040000, -90.022500 (est)

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