Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Robinson R44 II, N797JR, registered to S2 Helicopter Services and operated by an individual: Accident occurred January 08, 2018 in Albany, Shackelford County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

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

S2 Helicopter Services LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N797JR

Location: Albany, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA069
Date & Time: 01/08/2018, 1345 CST
Registration: N797JR
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 8, 2018, at 1345 central standard time, a Robinson R44 helicopter, N797JR, collided with trees and the terrain during an autorotation following a loss of tailrotor effectiveness while in a hover in Albany, Texas. The commercial pilot was not injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to S2 Helicopter Services and was operated by an individual as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from a ranch in Albany, Texas, at 1310.

The pilot stated he was using the helicopter to roundup cattle when the accident occurred. He reported he just applied power to stabilize in a hover about 50 ft above the ground, when he heard a single loud bang and "felt it in the pedals." The helicopter then began to spin to the right, and the pilot applied full left pedal which had no effect. The pilot stated after about 2 spins, he entered an autorotation to remove torque from the rotor system. The helicopter contacted trees as it descended to the ground. The helicopter came to rest upright with the tail boom separated. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY
Registration: N797JR
Model/Series: R44 II II
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
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: BKD, 1284 ft msl
Observation Time: 1955 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / -1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 360°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 7 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Albany, TX
Destination: Albany, TX 

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:  32.730000, -99.309444 (est)

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