Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Robinson R22 Beta, N843SH: Accident occurred February 13, 2018 in Wadsworth, Matagorda County, Texas

Analysis

The pilot of the helicopter reported that he was taking a passenger up for a "hog hunt" flight. He added that he lifted off the ground, about 40 to 50 ft, and the passenger's gun became lodged in the cyclic control. He instructed the passenger to move his gun multiple times, but the passenger "seized up and panicked." The helicopter impacted the ground, and the fuselage and empennage sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot reported that it was the second hunt with the passenger and that he had provided a safety briefing before the accident flight. He added that, during the safety briefing, he discussed gun safety, when and where to shoot, and instructions on avoiding areas with the flight controls.

He added that, as a safety recommendation, he will conduct a more thorough safety briefing, including an on-ground, engine-off cockpit simulation and a lesson on firearm safety. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The passenger's gun becoming lodged in the flight controls during takeoff and his failure to remove it, which resulted in impact with terrain.

Findings

Aircraft
Control column section - Unintentional use/operation (Cause)

Personnel issues
Lack of action - Passenger (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff
Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

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

Aviation Accident Final 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/N843SH

Location: Wadsworth, TX
Accident Number: GAA18CA129
Date & Time: 02/13/2018, 1030 CST
Registration: N843SH
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use 

The pilot of the helicopter reported that he was taking a passenger up for a "hog hunt" flight. He added that he lifted off the ground, about 40 to 50 ft., and the passenger's gun became lodged in the cyclic control. He instructed the passenger to move his gun multiple times, but the passenger "seized up and panicked". The helicopter impacted the ground and the fuselage and empennage sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot reported that it was the second hunt with the passenger and that he had given a safety briefing prior to the accident flight. He added that, during the safety brief, he discussed gun safety, when and where to shoot, and instructions on avoid areas with the flight controls.

He added that, as a safety recommendation, he will conduct a more thorough safety briefing, including an on ground, engine off cockpit simulation, and a lesson on firearm safety. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 23, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/15/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 307.5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 306.9 hours (Total, this make and model), 284.4 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 58.7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 29.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: ROBINSON HELICOPTER
Registration: N843SH
Model/Series: R22 BETA
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3820
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/07/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1370 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4142.6 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: O-360-J2A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 136 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: KBYY, 45 ft msl
Observation Time: 1615 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 17°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 8°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 1000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 10°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.42 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Wadsworth, TX
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Wadsworth, TX
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0840 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  28.781667, -95.930278 (est)

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