Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Bell 430, registered to K & S Helicopters Inc and operated by Paradise Helicopters, N430ST: Accident occurred October 30, 2018 at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport Keahole (KOA), Kailua/Kona, Hawaii

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu, Hawaii

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


Location: Kailua, HI
Accident Number: WPR19LA028
Date & Time: 10/30/2018, 1104 HST
Registration: N430ST
Aircraft: Bell 430
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled - Sightseeing 

On October 30, 2018, about 1104 Hawaiian-Aleutian standard time, a Bell 430 helicopter, N430ST, sustained substantial damage after it experienced severe vibrations while climbing out from Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport Keahole (KOA), Kailua/Kona, Hawaii. The commercial pilot and the 3 passengers were not injured. The helicopter was registered to K & S Helicopters Inc., and operated by Paradise Helicopters, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135, as a revenue sightseeing flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight departed KOA about 1057.

According to the pilot, he was planning to fly around the island. The autopilot was engaged and was commanded to climb the helicopter to 1,500 ft mean sea level (msl). The pilot reported that when the helicopter was at an altitude of 1,350 ft msl, a speed of 125 knots, and a heading of about 160°, there was a loud thump, immediately followed by significant vibrations. He further reported that the vibrations were felt more through the airframe than the flight controls.

The pilot elected to conduct a precautionary landing back at a ramp in KOA. The landing was uneventful, but the vibrations increased in intensity when the throttles were reduced to idle, while on the ground. A normal engine shutdown was accomplished without further issue and the pilot and passengers safely egressed.

Postaccident examination revealed that one of the tail rotor's blade's backplate, along with the associated weights and attachment bolts, had separated. The other tail rotor blade sustained a 6-inch-long dent about mid-span. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N430ST
Model/Series: 430 No Series
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: Paradise Helicopters
Operator Designator Code: P0HF 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PHKO, 43 ft msl
Observation Time: 1053 HST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 360°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.8 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Departure Point: Kailua/Kona, HI (KOA)
Destination: Kailua/Kona, HI (KOA)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None
Latitude, Longitude:  19.738889, -156.045556 (est)

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