Friday, May 4, 2018

Eurocopter AS-350B-2, N515ET: Accident occurred September 27, 2017 at Fullerton Municipal Airport (KFUL), Orange County, California


Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Long Beach, California

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/N515ET 



Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Fullerton, CA
Accident Number: GAA17CA562
Date & Time: 09/27/2017, 1000 PDT
Registration: N515ET
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS 350
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Public Aircraft 

The check pilot reported that he was administering an annual standardization check ride in the public use helicopter.

The last maneuver evaluated was a hydraulic failure that would terminate by accomplishing a simulated run-on landing.

The maneuver was initiated when the check/evaluated pilot established an out of ground effect (OGE) hover on the downwind leg of the pattern. The check-pilot engaged the hydraulic test button on the center console to "simulate a hydraulic failure." The evaluated pilot lowered the nose and established forward airspeed to maintain aircraft controllability. He maintained stabilized forward flight on the downwind leg, and the check-pilot disengage the hydraulic test button. The check pilot moved the hydraulic cut off switch to the off position, and the hydraulic system was disengaged. The evaluated pilot remained on the controls and established a shallow approach until about 3ft above the runway.

Over the runway, the evaluated pilot allowed the helicopter's airspeed to decrease, and the check-pilot stated, "Keep the speed up." The evaluated pilot responded by lowering the nose, however, an uncontrollable rapid left yaw ensued.

The check-pilot took control of the helicopter and attempted to keep the helicopter over the runway, but the nose pitched down, and the main rotor blades struck the ground. The check pilot decreased the fuel control and the helicopter settled upright on the runway.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the windscreen above the cabin, the tailboom and tail rotor drive system.

The METAR at the accident airport during the time of the accident reported that the wind from 250° at 3kts, the skies were clear, and the temperature was 72°F.

According to the Operator's Flight Manual:

In case of loss of hydraulic pressure, the recommended safety speed range is from 40 to 60 kt.

CAUTION:

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CARRY OUT HOVER FLIGHT OR ANY LOW SPEED MANEUVER WITHOUT HYDRAULIC PRESSURE ASSISTANCE. THE INTENSITY AND DIRECTION OF THE CONTROL FEEDBACK FORCES WILL CHANGE RAPIDLY. THIS WILL RESULT IN EXCESSIVE PILOT WORKLOAD, POOR AIRCRAFT CONTROL, AND POSSIBLE LOSS OF CONTROL.

There were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that were identified as a result of this investigation. 



Check Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 56, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Helicopter; Instrument Airplane; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/05/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/05/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 8259 hours (Total, all aircraft), 918 hours (Total, this make and model), 6705 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 128 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 27 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 51, 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: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/11/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/15/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 3915 hours (Total, all aircraft), 158 hours (Total, this make and model), 3663 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 55 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 31 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: EUROCOPTER
Registration: N515ET
Model/Series: AS 350 B2
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2001
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3425
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/11/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4960 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines:  1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 4636 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Turbomeca
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: Arriel 1D1
Registered Owner: CHAPARRAL AIR GROUP
Rated Power: 9783 hp
Operator: CHAPARRAL AIR GROUP
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFUL, 96 ft msl
Observation Time: 1653 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 85°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 17°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  6 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 250°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: Moderate - Haze; No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: LONG BEACH, CA (LGB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Fullerton, CA (FUL)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0920 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class D 

Airport Information

Airport: FULLERTON MUNI (FUL)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 96 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 24
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3121 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Simulated Forced Landing; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 33.871944, -117.979722 (est)

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