Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Robinson R44 II, registered to and operated by Quicksilver Air Inc, N744AK: Accident occurred July 29, 2018 at Bettles Airport (PABT), Alaska

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Location: Bettles, AK
Accident Number: ANC18LA058
Date & Time: 07/29/2018, 0912 AKD
Registration: N744AK
Aircraft: Robinson R44
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Public Aircraft 

On July 29, 2018, at about 0912 Alaska daylight time, N744AK, a Robinson R44 II helicopter, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power shortly after takeoff from the Bettles Airport (PABT), Bettles, Alaska. The commercial pilot and two passengers were not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Quicksilver Air Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 public-use flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight departed PABT about 0908.

According to the pilot, he had computed the weight and balance and performed a preflight inspection prior to departure. After the passengers boarded the helicopter, the engine was started, and all ground run-up checks of the engine were satisfactory. He stated that about 4 minutes after liftoff the helicopter lost all engine power. He entered an emergency autorotation and landed the helicopter in a bog. During the emergency landing, the tips of the helicopters skids broke though the vegetative matt on the bogs surface and the main rotor blades impacted the tailboom. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and tailboom.

The helicopter was equipped with a Lycoming IO-540-AE1A5 series engine, a detailed engine examination is pending.

The closest weather reporting facility is Bettles Airport (PABT). At 0853, an METAR from PABT was reporting in part: wind, calm; visibility, 10 statute miles; sky condition, few clouds 11,000 feet; temperature, 66° F; dew point 55° F; altimeter, 30.11 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson
Registration: N744AK
Model/Series: R44 II
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Quicksilver Air Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PABT
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 11000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Departure Point: Bettles, AK
Destination: Bettles, AK

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude:  66.860556, -151.645278 (est)

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