Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hughes 369D, registered to McCall Helicopters Inc and operated by Kiwi Air doing business as Hells Canyon Helicopters, Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight, N369TH: Fatal accident occurred January 27, 2018 in Pomeroy, Garfield County, Washington

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington
MD Helicopters; Mesa, Arizona
Rolls-Royce Corporation; Indianapolis, Indiana 

Aviation Accident Factual 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/N369TH 


Location: Pomeroy, WA
Accident Number: WPR18FA074
Date & Time: 01/27/2018, 1534 PST
Registration: N369TH
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of tail rotor effectiveness
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use 

On January 27, 2018, about 1534 Pacific Standard time, a Hughes 369D helicopter, N369TH, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain about 10 miles northwest of Pomeroy, Washington. The commercial pilot and one crewmember were seriously injured, and the second crewmember was fatally injured. The helicopter was registered to McCall Helicopters Inc, and was being operated by Kiwi Air, doing business as Hells Canyon Helicopters, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the wildlife capture flight that originated from a nearby staging area.

The purpose of the flight was to capture and collar mule deer for tracking. The operator reported that a wildlife capture flight requires three crewmembers: a pilot, a "mugger," and a "gunner." The pilot sits in the front left seat and flies the helicopter, the gunner sits in the left rear seat and shoots nets out of a net gun in order to capture the deer, and the mugger sits in the front right seat and exits the helicopter to handle the tagging and release of the deer. The guns usually have an empty cartridge inside; live ammunition is only put into the cartridge when the crew is in pursuit of a deer. The pilot always indicates when it is safe for the gunner to shoot. On the day of the accident, the mugger was training as a gunner; therefore, the helicopter was equipped with two net guns rather than the typical one.

A biologist from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that, after the helicopter was flying for about 2 hours, he met it during its refueling stop, when the crew dropped off samples from previously captured deer and took on additional collars. During the stop, the pilot mentioned that it was quite windy.

Data retrieved from an onboard Garmin 496 GPS unit indicated that, after refueling, the helicopter proceeded generally southwest then turned west. The helicopter flew south of the ravine, turned northeast through the ravine, then reversed its course southwest before the flight track ended in the vicinity of the accident site.

The pilot did not recall the accident flight. The gunner only recalled portions of the flight. He remembered that it was windy that day; however, the nets were still opening. He recalled the pilot hovering, which was challenging due to the wind. He also remembered catching between 5 and 7 deer, and he vaguely remembered the mugger working on a deer after the refueling stop. He reported that the mugger had gunned in the past, but he did not recall him gunning on the accident flight. He also remembered the helicopter spinning shortly before impact.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 33, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/12/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  8000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 6000 hours (Total, this make and model)

The pilot had about 8 years of experience flying wildlife capture flights and had owned Kiwi Air for about three years at the time of the accident. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: HUGHES
Registration: N369TH
Model/Series: 369D
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1980
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted; Normal
Serial Number: 1000830D
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/17/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 45 Hours
Engines:  Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 11793 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls-Royce
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 250-C20B
Registered Owner: MCCALL HELICOPTERS LLC
Rated Power: 420 hp
Operator: Kiwi Air
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Hells Canyon Helicopters
Operator Designator Code: 

According to the maintenance logbooks, the most recent maintenance on the helicopter was a 100-hour inspection of the airframe and a 150-hour inspection of the engine, which occurred on January 17, 2018, at an airframe total time of 11,793 hours and an engine total time of 4,760 hours.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PUW, 2555 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1553 PST
Direction from Accident Site: 71°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR): 
Wind Speed/Gusts: 23 knots / 35 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 250°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Gould City, WA
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Gould City, WA
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1515 PST
Type of Airspace:

The station models surrounding the accident site depicted west-southwest winds of 25 knots with higher gusts, scattered clouds, temperatures around 40°F, and dew points around 30°F. At the time of the accident, nearby airports were reporting wind gusts between 23 and 35 knots. A High Resolution Rapid Refresh model over the accident site identified strong low-level winds with a wind maximum at 1,000 ft above the surface from 230° at 48 knots. Inflight weather advisories current for the region at the time of the accident included an AIRMET Tango for low-level wind shear and turbulence due to strong winds.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  46.605000, -117.669722 

The accident site was located in a small northeast-to-southwest-oriented ravine about 6 miles west of the refueling location. The helicopter came to rest on its right side at the bottom of the ravine with its nose oriented on a northeast heading. Immediately adjacent to the main wreckage were impact marks along the lower portion of the western ravine wall consistent with the helicopter's two skids; the right skid was fracture-separated in this area. The cabin was mostly intact, although the right side and floor sustained crush damage. The main rotor head was intact and one main rotor blade was wrapped around it. The four remaining main rotor blades were fracture-separated and were found near the main wreckage; the blade tips were scattered to the south. The tailboom was fracture-separated about 2 1/2 ft forward of the empennage, and the empennage came to rest just north of the cabin area. The tail rotor assembly and tail rotor transmission were found just north of the main wreckage slightly up the western ravine wall. Continuing further north at the bottom of the ravine was a net that was mostly closed, with one weight extended farther than the others. This weight exhibited damage inconsistent with the other weights and was missing its rubber ring. A second, half-opened net was located about 6 ft north of the first net and slightly up the western ravine wall. About 5 ft farther north was a piece of tail rotor skin, and about 15 ft up the eastern ravine wall was a main rotor blade tip cap.

During a postaccident examination of the engine, a borescope examination of the gas generator turbine revealed no evidence of operational damage, thermal discoloration, or damage consistent with abnormal combustion. Metal splatter was observed on the first stage turbine nozzle shield. Examination of the compressor revealed damage consistent with foreign debris; however, the compressor moved freely when rotated by hand. Control continuity could not be established from the cockpit to the engine due to deformation of the fuselage and cabin area. All pneumatic engine control lines were intact and the fittings were secure.

The helicopter's forward fuselage exhibited substantial impact damage, with the right side crushed inward. The lower fuselage exhibited upward and inward crushing on the right side; the canted frame and lower bulkhead behind the front seats were bent and distorted. Control continuity could not be established from the cyclic, collective, and anti-torque pedal controls due to broken and seized flight controls and control tube assemblies. The main rotor hub exhibited multiple fractures and deformation, as did the pitch housing assemblies, swashplates, strap packs, main rotor dampers, and main rotor blades. Continuity was established from the engine through the main drive shaft to the main transmission. From the main transmission, continuity was established up to the main rotor hub and back to a fracture in the tail rotor drive shaft. The main drive shaft was rotated by hand, but rotation was limited due to the damage of the main rotor hub. The tail rotor drive shaft was fracture-separated into three pieces and exhibited extensive rotational scoring, particularly toward the aft end of the drive shaft.

The empennage was fracture separated but was mostly intact. Light-colored diagonal marks were observed on the side of the tailboom immediately adjacent to the tail rotor. The tail rotor assembly and transmission were mostly intact and fracture-separated from the end of the tailboom. The four bolts that connect the tail rotor transmission to the tailboom sustained damage; two of the bolts were sheared, one was missing, and one was bent downward. The tail rotor transmission rotated freely when manipulated by hand. The tail rotor stop and tail rotor hub exhibited contact marks and dents consistent with excessive tail rotor blade flapping. The tail rotor blades remained attached at the hub. One blade appeared undamaged, and the second blade sustained damage to the outboard two inches. One side of the tail rotor skin was fracture-separated, and the remaining section of the blade was dented, bent, and curled. The blade tip weight and endcap were fracture-separated and not located.

Tailboom fragments and tail rotor skin components were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Materials Laboratory for further examination. The leading edge of the tail rotor blade exhibited a dent with gouge marks. The gouge marks displayed evidence of metal transfer (iron, nickel, chromium) consistent with stainless steel material similar to that of the net weight. In addition, the round surface of the net weight exhibited metal transfer consistent with contact with aluminum.



Benjamin M. Poirier of Berthoud died January 27, 2018 in Pomeroy, Washington in a helicopter accident. He was working under contract with the Washington State Division of Wildlife capturing and collaring mule deer. Benjamin was born on March 14, 1998 in Thornton, Colorado.

Benjamin M. Poirier of Berthoud died January 27, 2018 in Pomeroy, Washington in a helicopter accident. He was working under contract with the Washington State Division of Wildlife capturing and collaring mule deer. Benjamin was born on March 14, 1998 in Thornton, Colorado. He attended Berthoud schools where he was a multisport athlete. One of his proudest moments was receiving the Derek Good Scholarship Award for his dedication in the sport of football. Upon graduating high school he moved to Laramie, Wyoming where he began his studies of Wildlife Biology. Within a year, he was working full time in the field of wildlife conservation. He was an avid outdoorsman. He loved hunting and fishing, but his true passion was working in the wilderness. He took pride in his job that allowed him to protect wild animal species and their habitats. During his free time, you could find him ripping on his KTM near Walden, Colorado or dancing amongst his many friends. Benjamin is survived by his father, Dennis; his momma, Deborah; his Significant Otter (sister), Polly; many aunts, uncles, and cousins. The celebration of life will be Thursday, February 8th, 2018 at 2:00 at Grace Place Church, 375 Meadowlark Drive in Berthoud, CO. In lieu of cards and flowers, please bring a printed photograph of Benjamin, with the story that belongs to that moment, to the celebration of life on February 8th.

Location: Pomeroy, WA
Accident Number: WPR18FA074
Date & Time: 01/27/2018, 1534 PST
Registration: N369TH
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use 

On January 27, 2018, about 1534 Pacific standard time, a Hughes 369D Helicopter, N369TH, impacted terrain under unknown circumstances about 10 miles northwest of Pomeroy, Washington. The commercial pilot and one passenger were seriously injured, and one passenger was fatally injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to McCall Helicopters Inc, and operated by Kiwi Air, doing business as Hells Canyon Helicopters as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 wildlife capture flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from a nearby staging area about 1515.

A biologist from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that the purpose of the flight was to capture and collar mule deer for tracking purposes. The helicopter originally took off from a helipad in Clarkston, Washington about 1306 and departed the area to the west before proceeding north of highway 12. The helicopter meandered generally along the snake river for about two hours before meeting the biologist to refuel at about 1500. During the refueling stop, the pilot had mentioned that it was quite windy. About 1515, the helicopter departed the area to the west, and the biologist returned to the helicopter's helipad.

The helicopter was later located in a northeast to southwest running ravine about six miles to the west of the refueling location. The main wreckage came to rest on its right side at the bottom of the ravine with the nose of the helicopter facing towards the north. Immediately adjacent to the main wreckage were impact marks, consistent with two skid marks, along the lower portion of the western ravine wall; the right skid was fracture separated in this area. The cabin area was mostly intact although the right side and lower fuselage sustained crush damage. The main rotor head was intact and one main rotor blade was wrapped around it. The four remaining main rotor blades were fracture separated and were found near the main wreckage and with blade tips scattered to the south. The tailboom was fracture separated about 2.5 feet forward of the empennage, and the empennage came to rest just north of the cabin area. The tail rotor assembly and tail rotor transmission were found just north of the main wreckage slightly up the western ravine wall. One tail rotor blade was undamaged, and the second tail rotor blade sustained damage to the blade tip. Continuing further north was a net that was mostly closed at the bottom of the ravine, followed by a second half opened net about six feet north and slightly up the western ravine wall. About 5 feet further north was a piece of tail rotor skin, and about 15 feet north and partially up the eastern ravine wall was a main rotor blade tip cap.

The helicopter was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: HUGHES
Registration: N369TH
Model/Series: 369D
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Kiwi Air
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Hells Canyon Helicopters
Operator Designator Code: 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PUW, 2555 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553 PST
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3500 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 23 knots/ 35 knots, 250°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Gould City, WA
Destination: Gould City, WA 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 46.605000, -117.669722



POMEROY, WA - The names of those involved in a helicopter crash in Garfield County at about 2:00 p.m. yesterday have been released by the Washington State Patrol. 

Officials say 33-year-old Blake Malo was the pilot; 
30-year-old Garrett Bradshaw of Eagle Point, Oregon sat behind Malo;
and according to family, the right front passenger was 19-year-old Benjamin Poirier of Berthoud, Colorado. 

NOTE: Washington State Patrol had a different name/age for right front passenger.

Poirier died at the scene of the crash.  Malo is now listed in critical condition and Bradshaw is listed in fair condition at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.  They had been airlifted from the crash site in Ping Gulch north of Pomeroy.

The helicopter was considered a "biology crew" for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  The agency had announced in December that it would be conducting surveys of mule deer populations and using nets fired from a helicopter to capture some of them.

PREVIOUS STORY: 

The investigation into the cause of a fatal helicopter crash in Garfield County yesterday could take up to two years to complete.  Officials say one person was killed and two others were airlifted to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center after the crash, which happened at around 2:00 p.m. north of Garfield County between Meadow Creek Road and Lower Deadman Road.

The 369D helicopter, operated by Kiwi Air of Clarkston (also known as Hells Canyon Helicopters), was reportedly piloted by Blake Malo.  He was listed in serious condition.  Names of the other individuals have not been released.

According to reports, the helicopter was being used to conduct big game surveys for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The National Transportation Safety Board has assigned an investigator to the crash and they will conduct an in-depth investigation.  Public Affairs Officer Peter Knudson says the investigator will work with others in determining the cause of the crash.

"Usually with the manufacturer of the aircraft, sometimes the engine manufacturer, and as always, the FAA will be there with us," Knudson says.

The investigator will initially document any "perishable" evidence. 

"[We will] be gathering information like air traffic control, information about the weather - what the weather situation was is something we always want to look at; and communication, radar - anything that's sort of perishable - we want to lock that down and get that documented," Knudson says.

Knudson says the investigator will also talk to witnesses, and to surviving members of the crash if they are available.

"Obviously they need to recover sufficiently to be able to speak to investigators, so we're going to wait till they're ready to speak to us.  But we certainly want to talk to those who survived the accident," Knudson says.

Knudson says the helicopter itself will also be part of the investigation.

"There's examination of particular components of the aircraft; if there's indication of a pre-accident failure that played a role in the accident," according to Knudson.

Once all of the information is collected, the NTSB investigator will write up a preliminary report.

"[It] lays out the facts and circumstances of the accident at this early stage in the investigation," Knudson says.  "Once that's approved, that'll be published on the NTSB website."

Knudson adds that it will be the first official document that comes out of the investigation.

"It is not analytical, it won't point to a cause or won't do any sort of analysis," Knudson says.  "That will come at the very end of the investigation."

Knudson says the complete investigation will take anywhere from 12 to 24 months to complete.

The NTSB has confirmed that this is the helicopter involved in the crash: http://registry.faa.gov/N369TH

Original article can be found here ➤ https://lcvalley.dailyfly.com





POMEROY, Wash. - According to the Garfield County Sheriff's office, a helicopter crashed between Meadow Creek road and Lower Deadman road around 2:00 p.m. Saturday with three people on board.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Thorson tells KXLY the 369D helicopter, operated by Kiwi Air of Clarkston, was carrying a biology team, reportedly conducting big game surveys for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

According to WSP, one of the passengers died at the scene. There have been conflicting reports of that person's identity, KXLY is working to confirm the name and age of the person who passed away. 

The pilot, Blake Malo of Clarkston, and the other passenger, Garrett Bradshaw of Eagle Point, Oregon, were airlifted to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.

It's not known what caused the helicopter to go down.

The Washington State Patrol, Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board have taken over the investigation into the crash, which could take up to two years to complete. 

Story and video   https://www.kxly.com



POMEROY, WA - UPDATE: Pilot Blake Malo is listed in serious condition at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. There is no information available at this time regarding the other individual who was airlifted to Lewiston.

UPDATE: One person was killed and two other airlifted to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center following a helicopter crash at about 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.  The helicopter, identified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a 369D model, was operated by Kiwi Air of Clarkston (aka Hells Canyon Helicopters). It went down north of Garfield County between Meadow Creek Road and Lower Deadman Road.

"With the assistance of Fish and Wildlife, Garfield County Fire District #1, WSP, and Lifeflight, they assisted with the crash," according to an updated press release.

As of 9:00 p.m., the Washington State Patrol, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Transportation Safety Board took command of the incident.

No names will be released at this time due to the next of kin being notified.

Federal Aviation Administration's Allen Kenitzer confirms that a Hughes 369D aircraft crashed due to unknown circumstances approximately 30 miles west of Clarkston.

"Local authorities say that three people were onboard the aircraft," Kenitzer says.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

The Garfield County Sheriff's Office says there was a helicopter crash at about 2:00 this afternoon.  It reportedly happened between Mavyiew City Road and Breakdown Road. The incident has been turned over to the Washington State Patrol, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Transportation Safety Board. There are no further details at this time, the Sheriff's Office says in a press release.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://lcvalley.dailyfly.com

POMEROY, Wash. -  The Garfield County Sheriff's Office confirmed early Sunday that a person was dead following a helicopter crash Saturday afternoon.

The sheriff's office reports the Kiwi Air of Clarkston helicopter went down around 2 p.m. north of Garfield County, between Meadow Creek Road and Lower Deadman Road.

Fish and Wildlife officials, firefighters, Washington State Patrol and Lifeflight responded to the scene to assist with the crash. One person was dead at the scene, and two others taken by Lifeflight helicopter to St. Joe's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. Their conditions are not known as of Sunday morning.

Washington State Patrol, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board took over the investigation of the crash Saturday night. Names of the people involved have not been released.

The investigation continues.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.khq.com 

Officials have yet to positively identify the man who died when a Clarkston-based helicopter crashed in Garfield County Saturday afternoon while working on a mule deer study for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Garfield County Prosecutor Matt Newberg, who is also the county coroner, said the victim didn't have identification on his person. He also hadn't been able to speak with the two other people in the helicopter because they were hospitalized in Lewiston.

Read more here ➤   http://lmtribune.com

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The co-pilot died :(

Anonymous said...

Who was the co-pilot do you know yet?