Sunday, February 4, 2018

Eurocopter AS350 B3, N790AM, United States Department of Homeland Security: Accident occurred December 06, 2017 in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

United States Department of Homeland Security

Location: Santa Rosa, AZ
Accident Number: GAA18CA070
Date & Time: 12/06/2017, 0900 MST
Registration: N790AM
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS 350
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Public Aircraft 

The pilot reported that, while landing off-airport, the helicopter landed slightly harder than normal. The helicopter was flown back to the airport without further incident.

A post-accident examination revealed the helicopter had sustained substantial damage to the tail-boom.

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 improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing. 


Landing flare - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Hard landing (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 45, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/01/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 6000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1500 hours (Total, this make and model), 3000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 100 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: EUROCOPTER
Registration: N790AM
Model/Series: AS 350
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 4298
Landing Gear Type: High Skid
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5225 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer:
Engine Model/Series:
Rated Power: hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDMA, 2704 ft msl
Observation Time: 1558 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 66 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 93°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 3°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 8500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 120°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: TUCSON, AZ (DMA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR/IFR
Destination: TUCSON, AZ (DMA)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0715 MST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  32.233611, -112.183611 (est)

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