Sunday, June 17, 2018

Low Altitude Operation / Event: Bell 206B JetRanger, N2762P, accident occurred June 17, 2018 in Orondo, Douglas County, Washington

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Orondo, WA
Accident Number: GAA18CA352
Date & Time: 06/17/2018, 0634 PDT
Registration: N2762P
Aircraft: BELL 206
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use 

According to the helicopter pilot, during a cherry drying flight, the helicopter climbed slowly over a small hill and struck powerline wires that were on the other side of the hill. The pilot landed the helicopter, but the landing was hard. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tailboom.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 25, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:4-point 
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/12/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/08/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 714.3 hours (Total, all aircraft), 35.3 hours (Total, this make and model), 121.8 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 35.3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 22.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELL
Registration: N2762P
Model/Series: 206 B
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1991
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2711
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Allison
Engine Model/Series: 250-C20
Rated Power: 420 hp
Operator: North Wind Aviation
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  Rotorcraft External Load (133); On-demand Air Taxi (135)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEAT, 1229 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 30 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1355 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 200°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR): 
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 260°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Chelan, WA (S10)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Orondo, WA
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0620 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 47.866111, -119.942778 (est)

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Washington - Fire crews from Orondo and Chelan, along with Douglas County Sheriff's deputies responded to a helicopter crash in the area of Cascade Foothills in Orondo, about four miles south of Beebe Bridge.

When crews arrived they found a helicopter in the orchard sitting upright. The helicopter had heavy damage to the tail section and burn damage through the shell of the aircraft from impact with the high-tension electrical power lines.

The pilot told investigators she struck the high voltage power lines causing damage to the helicopter and bringing it to the ground. The high-tension power lines were broken and down on the ground.

Firefighters say the helicopter was in the area controlling moisture on cherry trees to prevent cherry damage from overnight rains. Cherries absorb moisture then split when exposed to warming sunlight.

There were no injuries, but there was damage to the orchard, power lines, and the helicopter. The crash caused a widespread power outage as well.

Original article can be found here ➤

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