Saturday, November 3, 2018

Bell 206B-3 TH-67A Creek, registered to and operated by the Marion County Sheriff's Office, N911GE: Accident occurred May 02, 2017 in Orange Springs, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

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


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

 
http://registry.faa.gov/N911GE





Location: Orange Springs, FL
Accident Number: ERA17TA170
Date & Time: 05/02/2017, 1815 EDT
Registration: N911GE
Aircraft: BELL 206
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: External load event (Rotorcraft)
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Public Aircraft 

On May 2, 2017, about 1815 eastern daylight time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N911GE, sustained substantial damage during firefighting operations near Orange Springs, Florida. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the Marion County Sheriff's Office as a public-use aircraft. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed Ocala International Airport, Ocala, Florida, about 1500.

According to the Aviation Unit Commander and the pilot, the pilot was utilizing a firefighting bucket (Bambi Bucket®) and had completed between 25 and 30 drops on the fire zone. He landed at a nearby landing zone, refueled, and completed 3 or 4 additional drops when the accident occurred. After lowering the bucket into the water and filling it, he pulled the bucket from the water and immediately felt "a severely out of CG condition to the right." He assumed that the bucket cables were entangled in the right landing skid, so he released the water from the bucket. The condition persisted, so he rocked the helicopter to attempt to free the cable; however, this was not successful. He then released the cable with the cargo release button. He heard the "clunk" sound that was typical with releasing the bucket, then he heard another "clunk." The helicopter then began to spin violently and crashed into the water. The pilot freed himself from the cockpit, inflated his personal flotation device, and swam to shore. He utilized his cell phone to call for assistance and was rescued by first responders.

The pilot reported there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the helicopter.

An examination of the wreckage revealed cable marks on the right rear landing skid tube for about 6 inches in length. There was also a torsional fracture of the tail rotor short shaft. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 48, 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): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/02/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/02/2017
Flight Time:  3494 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1552 hours (Total, this make and model), 2510 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 46 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 17 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELL
Registration: N911GE
Model/Series: 206 B
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2001
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 5271
Landing Gear Type: High Skid;
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/19/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3201 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 76 Hours
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 8966 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls-Royce
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 250-C20 SER
Registered Owner: MARION COUNTY SHERIFF
Rated Power: 400 hp
Operator: MARION COUNTY SHERIFF
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  Rotorcraft External Load (133)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: OCF, 89 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1750 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 225°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 8500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Ocala, FL (OCF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Ocala, FL (OCF)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1500 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 29.462778, -81.978056

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA170
14 CFR Public Aircraft
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 02, 2017 in Orange Springs, FL
Aircraft: BELL 206, registration: N911GE
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 2, 2017, about 1815 eastern daylight time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N911GE, sustained substantial damage during firefighting operations near Orange Springs, Florida. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the Marion County Sheriff's Office as a public-use aircraft. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed Ocala International Airport, Ocala, Florida, about 1500.

According to the Aviation Unit Commander, the pilot was utilizing a firefighting bucket (Bambi Bucket®) and had completed between 25 and 30 drops on the fire zone. He landed at a nearby landing zone, refueled, and completed 3 or 4 additional drops when the accident occurred. After lowering the bucket into the water and filling it, he pulled the bucket from the water and immediately felt "a severely out of CG condition to the right." He assumed that the bucket cables were entangled in the tail skid, so he released the water from the bucket. The condition persisted, so he rocked the helicopter to attempt to free the cable; however, this was not successful. He then released the cable with the cargo release button. He heard the "clunk" sound that was typical with releasing the bucket, then he heard another "clunk." The helicopter them began to spin violently and crashed into the water. The pilot freed himself from the cockpit, inflated his personal flotation device, and swam to shore. He utilized his cell phone to call for assistance and was rescued by first responders.

An initial examination of the wreckage revealed cable marks on the right rear skid tube for about 6 inches in length. There was also a torsional fracture of the tail rotor short shaft.

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