Saturday, August 18, 2018

Schweizer Hughes 269C, N3625Z: Accident occurred August 16, 2018 in Kindred, Cass County, North Dakota

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fargo, North Dakota

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Kindred, ND
Accident Number: CEN18LA334
Date & Time: 08/16/2018, 1030 CDT
Registration: N3625Z
Aircraft: Schweizer 300
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 16, 2018, about 1030 central daylight time, a Schweizer 300 helicopter, N3625Z, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Kindred, North Dakota. The commercial pilot was uninjured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed about 1015 from a farmstead near McLeod, North Dakota, with the intended destination of Hector International Airport (FAR), Fargo, North Dakota.

The pilot reported that while enroute direct to FAR, at 1,000 ft above ground level, he heard a loud audible "snap" followed by a quick yaw of the helicopter. He immediately pushed the cyclic control forward and lowered the collective. He observed a "split needle" indication. The throttle still controlled engine speed normally; however, the main rotor speed did not respond to his throttle changes. He stated that the engine continued to run normally. He noted that he still had directional control through the antitorque pedals. The pilot immediately entered an autorotation and made one revolution while he located a suitable landing area. He maneuvered the helicopter to a nearby wheat field for landing. He estimated that the wheat crop was between 2-3 ft high. The pilot stated that the helicopter landed level on the skids, but it still had forward ground speed that caused the helicopter to briefly pitch nose-up. The helicopter subsequently pitched-down before slowly rolling over onto its right side. The pilot reported that the engine continued to run after impact, and that he secured the engine by moving the mixture control aft to cutoff fuel flow. After the accident, he was able to exit the helicopter unaided and without injury. The pilot stated that he observed smoke from the right side of the helicopter (possibly near the damaged right fuel tank) and that the helicopter caught on fire after a few minutes. A majority of helicopter was destroyed by the postimpact fire. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Schweizer
Registration: N3625Z
Model/Series: 300
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: FAR, 901 ft msl
Observation Time: 1053 CDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:  24°C / 14°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: McLeod, ND
Destination: Fargo, ND (FAR) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 46.667778, -97.008056 (est)

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