Monday, January 29, 2018

Airbus/Eurocopter EC130 T2, N894GT: Incident occurred January 28, 2018 at Regional One Health Medical Center's Rooftop Helipad, Memphis, Tennessee

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Memphis, Tennessee
BEA; Le Bourget, France
Air Evac EMS; O'Fallon, Missouri
Airbus Helicopters; Grand Prairie, Texas
Safran Helicopter Engines; Grand Prairie, Texas

Aviation Incident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Memphis, TN
Incident Number: ERA18IA078
Date & Time: 01/28/2018, 1400 CST
Registration: N894GT
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled - Air Medical (Medical Emergency)

On January 28, 2018, about 1400 central standard time, an Airbus Helicopters EC 130 T2; N894GT, operated by Air Evac EMS Inc., incurred minor damage during a hard landing at Regional One Health Medical Center's Rooftop Helipad, Memphis, Tennessee. The commercial pilot, flight nurse, flight paramedic, and patient being transported, were not injured. The flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135, as a helicopter air ambulance flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed for the flight, and a company visual flight rules (VFR), flight plan was filed for the flight which departed from Humboldt, Tennessee about 1327.

According to the pilot, he configured the helicopter to land at the Regional One Health Medical Center's rooftop helipad on a heading of approximately 040°. While on the long final approach to the helipad, he a left crosswind was present, and he had to reduce the collective pitch control friction three times to be able to move the collective as fast as he felt he needed to. He then came to a hover as he reached the helipad, then turned the helicopter to the right and landed at 1359.

After landing, he started the after landing portion of the checklist, and then turned the twist grip from "FLY to "IDLE," and thought he had engaged the collective lock. He then turned the horn mute switch to mute, grabbed the cyclic with his left hand, and reached for the clock start button with his right hand. As he was reaching for the clock button, the collective "popped up," and the helicopter became airborne. He immediately grabbed the cyclic with his right hand, the collective with his left hand, and twisted the twist grip to "FLY." The helicopter then landed hard, and the emergency locator activated. After exiting the helicopter, the flight nurse advised him that there was damage to the sheet metal of the helicopter.

Examination of the helicopter revealed that it had incurred minor damage. The skid type landing gear had spread out, and both landing gear cross tubes were deformed. The forward belly panels were dented from contact with the forward landing gear cross tube, and the aft closeout panels were dented from contact with the aft landing gear cross tube.

The recorded weather at Memphis International Airport (MEM), Memphis, Tennessee, located 6 nm southeast of the incident site, at 1354, included: winds 020°at 11 knots, gusting to 18 knots, 10 miles visibility, few clouds at 25,000 ft., temperature 20°C, dew point 10°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.23 inches of mercury.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and pilot records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for rotorcraft-helicopter and instrument helicopter, and private pilot privileges for airplane single-engine land. His most recent application for an FAA second-class medical certificate was dated April 12, 2017. He reported that he had accrued 6,267 total hours of flight time, 9 of which were in the accident helicopter make and model.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the helicopter was manufactured in 2015. Its most recent approved aircraft inspection program (AAIP) inspection was completed on January 27, 2018. At the time of the inspection, the helicopter had accrued 88.8 total hours of operation.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AIRBUS HELICOPTERS
Registration: N894GT
Model/Series: EC 130 T2
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter Air Carrier (135)
Operator Does Business As: Air Evac Lifeteam
Operator Designator Code: EVCA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MEM, 341 ft msl
Observation Time: 1354 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / -5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 25000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots/ 18 knots, 20°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Departure Point: Humboldt, TN (None)
Destination: Memphis, TN (PVT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Damage: Minor
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:  4 None
Latitude, Longitude:  35.136944, -90.025000 (est)

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