Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Bell 47J-2A Ranger, registered to Brown County Tours and operated by pilot, N8568F: Accident occurred July 15, 2018 near Franklin Flying Field Airport (3FK), Johnson County, Indiana

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Plainfield, Indiana 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Franklin, IN
Accident Number: CEN18LA269
Date & Time: 07/15/2018, 1745 EDT
Registration: N8568F
Aircraft: Bell 47J
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 15, 2018, about 1745 eastern daylight time, a Bell 47J helicopter, N8568F, was destroyed during an in-flight collision with terrain and postaccident fire while maneuvering in the vicinity of the Franklin Flying Field Airport (3FK), Franklin, Indiana. The pilot was seriously injured. The helicopter was registered to Brown County Tours and operated by pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from 3FK about 1615.

A witness reported that the pilot was checking out the helicopter because it had not been flown yet this season. The initial flight appeared to go smoothly. The pilot landed next to the fuel pump and, after shutting down, fueled the helicopter. He noted that the pilot took off again. He did not see the entire flight, but he could hear the helicopter and the engine sounded "smooth." When he next observed the helicopter, the pilot was flying over the fields north of the airport. He stated that the helicopter was about 100 ft above ground level when he observed a "plume of white or grey smoke trailing the helicopter." It subsequently descended into an agricultural field.

The helicopter came to rest upright. The aft portion of the tail boom, including the tail rotor assembly, separated and was located about 30 ft northeast from the main wreckage. The main rotor blades remained attached to the hub and were located with the main wreckage. A postaccident fire consumed a majority of the fuselage structure. The engine sustained thermal damage consistent with the fire. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N8568F
Model/Series: 47J 2A
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
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: BAK, 656 ft msl
Observation Time: 1745 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 19°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 8000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 230°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 12000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Franklin, IN (3FK)
Destination: Franklin, IN (3FK)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 39.426389, -86.058333 (est)

A helicopter was left in pieces Sunday evening, after crashing at the Franklin Flying Field in Franklin, Ind.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office was called at around 5:45 p.m. Sunday to a report of a helicopter down. Deputies said they found the pilot outside of the Bell 47 helicopter. 

The unidentified pilot was conscious and alert when taken to Johnson Memorial Hospital, police said. 

However, the helicopter was destroyed, deputies said. Federal authorities were contacted about the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤

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