Saturday, May 26, 2018

AgustaWestland AW139, N639NA, registered to and operated by Chevron USA Inc: Accident occurred April 07, 2016 over the Gulf of Mexico

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Jackson, Mississippi 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Galliano, LA
Accident Number: CEN16LA401
Date & Time: 04/07/2016, CDT
Registration: N639NA
Injuries: 9 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use 

On April 7, 2016, at an unknown time, an AGUSTAWESTLAND AW139 helicopter, N639NA, sustained damage to a main rotor blade during a flight over the Gulf of Mexico. The pilot, co-pilot, and 7 passengers were not injured, and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Chevron USA Inc., under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an other work use flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight and a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at 0600 from South Lafourche Leonard Miller Jr. Airport, (GOA), Galliano, Louisiana, with an en route stop at an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, and terminated about 1135 at GOA.

On May 9, 2018, the Chevron Aviation Department reported the accident to the NTSB. According to Chevron, at some point during flight a piece of the tail rotor lightning bonding strip separated (figure 1) and collided with a main rotor blade (figure 2). The damage was discovered during a postflight inspection at GAO. The main rotor blade was replaced due to the damage.

Figure 1 – Broken Lightning Bonding Strip

Figure 2 – Damaged Main Rotor Blade 

The helicopter has already been repaired and the operator is preparing a root cause analysis. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N639NA
Model/Series: AW139
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: AC2A

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KXPY, 99 ft msl
Observation Time: 0915 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 19 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 340°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Departure Point:  GALLIANO, LA (GAO)
Destination: Galliano, LA (GAO)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 7 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 9 None
Latitude, Longitude:  29.438056, -90.262500 

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