Saturday, December 16, 2017

Jim Gray Rotorway Exec 90, N716JB, registered to and operated by the pilot: Accident occurred December 17, 2017 -and- Accident occurred October 19, 2016 at Caldwell Industrial Airport (KEUL), Canyon County, Idaho

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N716JB

Location: Caldwell, ID
Accident Number: WPR18LA050
Date & Time: 12/17/2017, 1300 MST
Registration: N716JB
Aircraft: GRAY JIM ROBERT EXEC
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 17, 2017, about 1300 mountain standard time, an experimental amateur-built Rotorway Exec series helicopter, N716JB, landed hard following a loss of engine power at Caldwell Industrial Airport, Caldwell, Idaho. The private pilot was not injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and tailboom during the accident sequence. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. The local flight departed Caldwell about 1250. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot stated that he planned to perform a series of hover taxi maneuvers, and then fly the helicopter in the traffic pattern. After taxiing around the airport for about 10 minutes, he heard an unusual engine sound, and the engine then lost all power. He performed an autorotation, and the helicopter landed hard, spreading the skids.

Examination of the helicopter revealed that oil was leaking from the lower engine area, and a trail of oil was present on the ground in the areas that the helicopter was taxing.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: GRAY JIM ROBERT
Registration: N716JB
Model/Series: EXEC UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEUL, 2429 ft msl
Observation Time: 1956 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 2°C / -5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 90°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 6000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.28 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: CALDWELL, ID (EUL)
Destination: CALDWELL, ID (EUL)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 43.641944, -116.635833 (est)

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

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

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

Location: Caldwell, ID
Accident Number: WPR17LA009
Date & Time: 10/19/2016, 0910 MDT
Registration: N716JB
Aircraft: Gray Jim Robert Exec 90
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

Shortly after takeoff for the personal flight, about 15 to 20 ft above ground level, the experimental amateur-built helicopter suddenly yawed right, followed by a partial loss of engine power. The private pilot then performed a partial nose-up, collective-down maneuver, but due to the low altitude and not being able to maintain sufficient rotor rpm, he chose to land in soft dirt off the side of the runway; the helicopter landed hard.

The pilot had recently changed the alternator belt. A postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed that, during the maintenance, the pilot failed to properly tighten the tension bolts, which resulted in inadequate voltage to sustain ignition and the subsequent partial loss of engine power.

Probable Cause and Findings
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to properly tighten the tension bolts during the installation of the alternator belt, which resulted in inadequate voltage to sustain ignition and the subsequent partial loss of engine power.

Findings

Aircraft
Ignition power supply - Incorrect service/maintenance (Cause)

Personnel issues
Installation - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

On October 19, 2016, about 0910 mountain daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Jim Gray Rotorway Exec 90 helicopter, N716JB, was substantially damaged following a forced landing after experiencing a loss of engine power at the Caldwell Industrial Airport (EUL), Caldwell, Idaho. The private pilot and registered owner of the helicopter was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was being conducted in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The proposed local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

In a report submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that during the takeoff everything seemed normal. He then accelerated and began a slow climb. At between 15 to 20 ft above ground level and about 40 to 45 knots, the helicopter suddenly yawed right, followed by the engine losing power. The pilot stated that being so low he could not perform a normal autorotation. The pilot opined that he did a partial nose-up, collective-down maneuver, but due to the low altitude and not being able to maintain sufficient rotor rpm, he elected to land in the soft dirt off the side of the runway. A hard landing resulted in the helicopter coming to rest on its left side. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom and horizontal stabilizer.

Subsequent to a postaccident examination of the engine, which was performed by a Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspector, the inspector reported to the NTSB IIC that the pilot had recently changed the alternator belt, however, had failed to properly tighten the tension bolts, which resulted in inadequate voltage to sustain ignition, thus precipitating the loss of engine power and hard landing. 

Pilot Information


Certificate: Private
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/30/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/29/2015
Flight Time:  577 hours (Total, all aircraft), 403 hours (Total, this make and model), 422 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 16 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Manufacturer: Gray Jim Robert
Registration: N716JB 
Model/Series: Exec 90
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1998
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: Exec-3000
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/28/2016, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 223 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 223 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotorway
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 55005
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 152 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: EUL, 2432 ft msl
Observation Time: 0856 MDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 3°C / 2°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  8 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 40°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Caldwell, ID (EUL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Caldwell, ID (EUL)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0900 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: Caldwell Industrial (EUL)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2432 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 12
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5500 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 43.641944, -116.635833 (est)

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA009
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 19, 2016 in Caldwell, ID
Aircraft: Gray Jim Robert Exec 90, registration: N716JB
Injuries: 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 October 19, 2016, about 0910 mountain daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Gray Jim Robert Exec 90 helicopter, N716JB, was substantially damaged following a forced landing after experiencing a loss of engine power at the Caldwell Industrial Airport (EUL), Caldwell, Idaho. The private pilot and registered owner of the helicopter were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was being conducted in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The proposed local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

In a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that after taking off and attaining a speed of about 50 knots, the helicopter's engine quit. The pilot stated that he attempted to land off of the side of the paved runway, during which the helicopter rolled over onto its left side. The pilot stated further that he had fueled the helicopter just prior to takeoff, and estimated that he had between 8 to 10 gallons of fuel on board for the local flight. The helicopter was recovered to the pilot's on-field hangar for further examination. The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N716JB

Location: Caldwell, ID
Accident Number: WPR18LA050
Date & Time: 12/17/2017, 1300 MST
Registration: N716JB
Aircraft: GRAY JIM ROBERT EXEC
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 17, 2017, about 1300 mountain standard time, an experimental amateur-built Rotorway Exec series helicopter, N716JB, landed hard following a loss of engine power at Caldwell Industrial Airport, Caldwell, Idaho. The private pilot was not injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and tailboom during the accident sequence. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. The local flight departed Caldwell about 1250. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot stated that he planned to perform a series of hover taxi maneuvers, and then fly the helicopter in the traffic pattern. After taxiing around the airport for about 10 minutes, he heard an unusual engine sound, and the engine then lost all power. He performed an autorotation, and the helicopter landed hard, spreading the skids.

Examination of the helicopter revealed that oil was leaking from the lower engine area, and a trail of oil was present on the ground in the areas that the helicopter was taxing.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: GRAY JIM ROBERT
Registration: N716JB
Model/Series: EXEC UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEUL, 2429 ft msl
Observation Time: 1956 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 2°C / -5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 90°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 6000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.28 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: CALDWELL, ID (EUL)
Destination: CALDWELL, ID (EUL)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 43.641944, -116.635833 (est)

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

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

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

Location: Caldwell, ID
Accident Number: WPR17LA009
Date & Time: 10/19/2016, 0910 MDT
Registration: N716JB
Aircraft: Gray Jim Robert Exec 90
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On October 19, 2016, about 0910 mountain daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Jim Gray Rotorway Exec 90 helicopter, N716JB, was substantially damaged following a forced landing after experiencing a loss of engine power at the Caldwell Industrial Airport (EUL), Caldwell, Idaho. The private pilot and registered owner of the helicopter was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was being conducted in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The proposed local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

In a report submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that during the takeoff everything seemed normal. He then accelerated and began a slow climb. At between 15 to 20 ft above ground level and about 40 to 45 knots, the helicopter suddenly yawed right, followed by the engine losing power. The pilot stated that being so low he could not perform a normal autorotation. The pilot opined that he did a partial nose-up, collective-down maneuver, but due to the low altitude and not being able to maintain sufficient rotor rpm, he elected to land in the soft dirt off the side of the runway. A hard landing resulted in the helicopter coming to rest on its left side. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom and horizontal stabilizer.

Subsequent to a postaccident examination of the engine, which was performed by a Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspector, the inspector reported to the NTSB IIC that the pilot had recently changed the alternator belt, however, had failed to properly tighten the tension bolts, which resulted in inadequate voltage to sustain ignition, thus precipitating the loss of engine power and hard landing. 

Pilot Information


Certificate: Private
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/30/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/29/2015
Flight Time:  577 hours (Total, all aircraft), 403 hours (Total, this make and model), 422 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 16 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Manufacturer: Gray Jim Robert
Registration: N716JB 
Model/Series: Exec 90
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1998
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: Exec-3000
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/28/2016, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 223 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 223 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotorway
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 55005
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 152 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: EUL, 2432 ft msl
Observation Time: 0856 MDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 3°C / 2°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  8 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 40°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Caldwell, ID (EUL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Caldwell, ID (EUL)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0900 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: Caldwell Industrial (EUL)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2432 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 12
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5500 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 43.641944, -116.635833 (est)


NTSB Identification: WPR17LA009
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 19, 2016 in Caldwell, ID
Aircraft: Gray Jim Robert Exec 90, registration: N716JB
Injuries: 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 October 19, 2016, about 0910 mountain daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Gray Jim Robert Exec 90 helicopter, N716JB, was substantially damaged following a forced landing after experiencing a loss of engine power at the Caldwell Industrial Airport (EUL), Caldwell, Idaho. The private pilot and registered owner of the helicopter were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was being conducted in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The proposed local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

In a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that after taking off and attaining a speed of about 50 knots, the helicopter's engine quit. The pilot stated that he attempted to land off of the side of the paved runway, during which the helicopter rolled over onto its left side. The pilot stated further that he had fueled the helicopter just prior to takeoff, and estimated that he had between 8 to 10 gallons of fuel on board for the local flight.

The helicopter was recovered to the pilot's on-field hangar for further examination.

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