Friday, May 04, 2018

Hughes 369D, N501VS: Accident occurred February 19, 2018 in Marshall Islands

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Los Angeles, California

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Marshall Islands, MH
Accident Number: WPR18CA100
Date & Time: 02/19/2018, 1055 LCL
Registration: N501VS
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Birdstrike
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Aerial Observation - Sightseeing 

The commercial pilot reported that he was engaged in a fish survey about 500 feet above open ocean. Fish activity was observed, and he turned and ascended to attain a better view. During the maneuver, the helicopter struck one or more birds. The pilot felt an immediate increased vibration, radioed his position, and flew toward the fishing vessel. While en route the vibration increased, and the helicopter became uncontrollable. The pilot ditched in open ocean. The helicopter subsequently sank and was not recovered.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine before the bird strike that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 26, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/03/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: HUGHES
Registration: N501VS
Model/Series: 369D D
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1977
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 170050D
Landing Gear Type: Emergency Float; Skid
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
12/19/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 79 Hours
Engines:  Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 18502.5 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls Royce
Engine Model/Series: 250-C20B
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 420 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:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots, 270°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting:
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Marshall Islands, MH
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Marshall Islands, MH
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1000 LCL
Type of Airspace: 

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: 34.980000, 159.980000 (est)

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