Sunday, August 5, 2018

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Schweizer 269C, N17YS; accident occurred August 18, 2015 near North Las Vegas Airport (KVGT), Clark County, Nevada

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada

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


Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

 
http://registry.faa.gov/N17YS


Location: Las Vegas, NV

Accident Number: WPR15LA245
Date & Time: 08/18/2015, 0900 MDT
Registration: N17YS
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269C
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

Analysis

The flight instructor reported that, during the instructional flight in the helicopter, he was demonstrating entry procedures for an autorotation with the student pilot following along on the flight controls. The instructor smoothly lowered the collective, applied right pedal, and pulled aft on the cyclic to enter the autorotation. Immediately after entering the maneuver, he heard a change in engine noise and saw that the engine rpm gauge indicated zero. The instructor attempted to restart the engine by pressing the start button several times; however, the starter did not engage. The instructor continued the autorotative descent to the ground and landed hard.

A postaccident engine examination revealed that the battery's positive lead was separated from the battery terminal, and the lead exhibited corrosion. When the positive lead was reattached to the battery, and the engine started and operated normally. The reason for the loss of engine power during the autorotation could not be determined. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A total loss of engine power during a practice autorotation for reasons that could not be determined. 

Findings

Not determined
Not determined - Unknown/Not determined (Cause)

Factual Information

On August 18, 2015, about 0900 mountain daylight time, a Schweizer 269C helicopter, N17YS, experienced a complete loss of engine power and subsequent hard landing about 10 miles northwest of the North Las Vegas Airport (VGT), Las Vegas, Nevada. The certified flight instructor was not injured, and the pilot undergoing instruction sustained minor injuries. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tailboom. The helicopter was privately owned and operated by Airworks Aviation Academy under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight originated from VGT at 0845.

The flight instructor reported that after the student leveled the helicopter off at 4,500 ft mean sea level, he was going to demonstrate, with the student following along on the controls, entry procedures for an autorotation maneuver. The flight instructor smoothly lowered the collective, input right pedal, and pulled back on the cyclic to enter the autorotation. Immediately after entering the maneuver, he heard a change in engine noise and he observed that the engine RPM gauge was zero. The flight instructor attempted several times to restart the engine by pressing the start button, however every time the start button was pressed, there was no indication that the starter engaged. The flight instructor continued the descent to the ground. The helicopter landed hard; subsequently, the main rotor blades severed the tailboom.

A postaccident engine examination conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector revealed that the positive lead was found separated from the battery terminal, and that the lead exhibited corrosion. The positive lead was attached to the battery, and the engine started and operated normally. 

History of Flight

Autorotation
Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)
Off-field or emergency landing
Hard landing

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/02/2014
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/17/2015
Flight Time:  443 hours (Total, all aircraft), 73 hours (Total, this make and model), 367 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 125 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: , Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/05/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  366 hours (Total, all aircraft), 4 hours (Total, this make and model), 236 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: SCHWEIZER
Registration: N17YS
Model/Series: 269C
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1992
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: S1619
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/20/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2050 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 76 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2805 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: HIO-360 SERIES
Registered Owner: JOSLYN LARRY J
Rated Power: 190
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Airwork Las Vegas
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: VGT, 2205 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0853 MDT
Direction from Accident Site: 124°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.85 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Las Vegas, NV (VGT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Las Vegas, NV (VGT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0845 MDT
Type of Airspace: Unknown 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 36.285833, -115.338333 (est)

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