Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hughes 369D, N369TH, registered to McCall Helicopters Inc and operated by Kiwi Air doing business as Hells Canyon Helicopters: Fatal accident occurred January 27, 2018 in Pomeroy, Garfield County, Washington

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington
MD Helicopters; Mesa, Arizona
Rolls-Royce Corporation; Indianapolis, Indiana 

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N369TH 

Location: Pomeroy, WA
Accident Number: WPR18FA074
Date & Time: 01/27/2018, 1534 PST
Registration: N369TH
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use 

On January 27, 2018, about 1534 Pacific standard time, a Hughes 369D Helicopter, N369TH, impacted terrain under unknown circumstances about 10 miles northwest of Pomeroy, Washington. The commercial pilot and one passenger were seriously injured, and one passenger was fatally injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to McCall Helicopters Inc, and operated by Kiwi Air, doing business as Hells Canyon Helicopters as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 wildlife capture flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from a nearby staging area about 1515.

A biologist from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that the purpose of the flight was to capture and collar mule deer for tracking purposes. The helicopter originally took off from a helipad in Clarkston, Washington about 1306 and departed the area to the west before proceeding north of highway 12. The helicopter meandered generally along the snake river for about two hours before meeting the biologist to refuel at about 1500. During the refueling stop, the pilot had mentioned that it was quite windy. About 1515, the helicopter departed the area to the west, and the biologist returned to the helicopter's helipad.

The helicopter was later located in a northeast to southwest running ravine about six miles to the west of the refueling location. The main wreckage came to rest on its right side at the bottom of the ravine with the nose of the helicopter facing towards the north. Immediately adjacent to the main wreckage were impact marks, consistent with two skid marks, along the lower portion of the western ravine wall; the right skid was fracture separated in this area. The cabin area was mostly intact although the right side and lower fuselage sustained crush damage. The main rotor head was intact and one main rotor blade was wrapped around it. The four remaining main rotor blades were fracture separated and were found near the main wreckage and with blade tips scattered to the south. The tailboom was fracture separated about 2.5 feet forward of the empennage, and the empennage came to rest just north of the cabin area. The tail rotor assembly and tail rotor transmission were found just north of the main wreckage slightly up the western ravine wall. One tail rotor blade was undamaged, and the second tail rotor blade sustained damage to the blade tip. Continuing further north was a net that was mostly closed at the bottom of the ravine, followed by a second half opened net about six feet north and slightly up the western ravine wall. About 5 feet further north was a piece of tail rotor skin, and about 15 feet north and partially up the eastern ravine wall was a main rotor blade tip cap.

The helicopter was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: HUGHES
Registration: N369TH
Model/Series: 369D
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Kiwi Air
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Hells Canyon Helicopters
Operator Designator Code: 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PUW, 2555 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553 PST
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3500 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 23 knots/ 35 knots, 250°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Gould City, WA
Destination: Gould City, WA 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious

Latitude, Longitude: 46.605000, -117.669722

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov


Benjamin M. Poirier of Berthoud died January 27, 2018 in Pomeroy, Washington in a helicopter accident. He was working under contract with the Washington State Division of Wildlife capturing and collaring mule deer. Benjamin was born on March 14, 1998 in Thornton, Colorado.


POMEROY, WA - The names of those involved in a helicopter crash in Garfield County at about 2:00 p.m. yesterday have been released by the Washington State Patrol. 

Officials say 33-year-old Blake Malo was the pilot; 
30-year-old Garrett Bradshaw of Eagle Point, Oregon sat behind Malo;
and according to family, the right front passenger was 19-year-old Benjamin Poirier of Berthoud, Colorado. 

NOTE: Washington State Patrol had a different name/age for right front passenger.

Poirier died at the scene of the crash.  Malo is now listed in critical condition and Bradshaw is listed in fair condition at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.  They had been airlifted from the crash site in Ping Gulch north of Pomeroy.

The helicopter was considered a "biology crew" for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  The agency had announced in December that it would be conducting surveys of mule deer populations and using nets fired from a helicopter to capture some of them.

PREVIOUS STORY: 

The investigation into the cause of a fatal helicopter crash in Garfield County yesterday could take up to two years to complete.  Officials say one person was killed and two others were airlifted to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center after the crash, which happened at around 2:00 p.m. north of Garfield County between Meadow Creek Road and Lower Deadman Road.

The 369D helicopter, operated by Kiwi Air of Clarkston (also known as Hells Canyon Helicopters), was reportedly piloted by Blake Malo.  He was listed in serious condition.  Names of the other individuals have not been released.

According to reports, the helicopter was being used to conduct big game surveys for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The National Transportation Safety Board has assigned an investigator to the crash and they will conduct an in-depth investigation.  Public Affairs Officer Peter Knudson says the investigator will work with others in determining the cause of the crash.

"Usually with the manufacturer of the aircraft, sometimes the engine manufacturer, and as always, the FAA will be there with us," Knudson says.

The investigator will initially document any "perishable" evidence. 

"[We will] be gathering information like air traffic control, information about the weather - what the weather situation was is something we always want to look at; and communication, radar - anything that's sort of perishable - we want to lock that down and get that documented," Knudson says.

Knudson says the investigator will also talk to witnesses, and to surviving members of the crash if they are available.

"Obviously they need to recover sufficiently to be able to speak to investigators, so we're going to wait till they're ready to speak to us.  But we certainly want to talk to those who survived the accident," Knudson says.

Knudson says the helicopter itself will also be part of the investigation.

"There's examination of particular components of the aircraft; if there's indication of a pre-accident failure that played a role in the accident," according to Knudson.

Once all of the information is collected, the NTSB investigator will write up a preliminary report.

"[It] lays out the facts and circumstances of the accident at this early stage in the investigation," Knudson says.  "Once that's approved, that'll be published on the NTSB website."

Knudson adds that it will be the first official document that comes out of the investigation.

"It is not analytical, it won't point to a cause or won't do any sort of analysis," Knudson says.  "That will come at the very end of the investigation."

Knudson says the complete investigation will take anywhere from 12 to 24 months to complete.

The NTSB has confirmed that this is the helicopter involved in the crash: http://registry.faa.gov/N369TH

Original article can be found here ➤ https://lcvalley.dailyfly.com





POMEROY, Wash. - According to the Garfield County Sheriff's office, a helicopter crashed between Meadow Creek road and Lower Deadman road around 2:00 p.m. Saturday with three people on board.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Thorson tells KXLY the 369D helicopter, operated by Kiwi Air of Clarkston, was carrying a biology team, reportedly conducting big game surveys for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

According to WSP, one of the passengers died at the scene. There have been conflicting reports of that person's identity, KXLY is working to confirm the name and age of the person who passed away. 

The pilot, Blake Malo of Clarkston, and the other passenger, Garrett Bradshaw of Eagle Point, Oregon, were airlifted to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.

It's not known what caused the helicopter to go down.

The Washington State Patrol, Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board have taken over the investigation into the crash, which could take up to two years to complete. 

Story and video   https://www.kxly.com



POMEROY, WA - UPDATE: Pilot Blake Malo is listed in serious condition at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. There is no information available at this time regarding the other individual who was airlifted to Lewiston.

UPDATE: One person was killed and two other airlifted to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center following a helicopter crash at about 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.  The helicopter, identified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a 369D model, was operated by Kiwi Air of Clarkston (aka Hells Canyon Helicopters). It went down north of Garfield County between Meadow Creek Road and Lower Deadman Road.

"With the assistance of Fish and Wildlife, Garfield County Fire District #1, WSP, and Lifeflight, they assisted with the crash," according to an updated press release.

As of 9:00 p.m., the Washington State Patrol, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Transportation Safety Board took command of the incident.

No names will be released at this time due to the next of kin being notified.

Federal Aviation Administration's Allen Kenitzer confirms that a Hughes 369D aircraft crashed due to unknown circumstances approximately 30 miles west of Clarkston.

"Local authorities say that three people were onboard the aircraft," Kenitzer says.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

The Garfield County Sheriff's Office says there was a helicopter crash at about 2:00 this afternoon.  It reportedly happened between Mavyiew City Road and Breakdown Road. The incident has been turned over to the Washington State Patrol, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Transportation Safety Board. There are no further details at this time, the Sheriff's Office says in a press release.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://lcvalley.dailyfly.com

POMEROY, Wash. -  The Garfield County Sheriff's Office confirmed early Sunday that a person was dead following a helicopter crash Saturday afternoon.

The sheriff's office reports the Kiwi Air of Clarkston helicopter went down around 2 p.m. north of Garfield County, between Meadow Creek Road and Lower Deadman Road.

Fish and Wildlife officials, firefighters, Washington State Patrol and Lifeflight responded to the scene to assist with the crash. One person was dead at the scene, and two others taken by Lifeflight helicopter to St. Joe's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. Their conditions are not known as of Sunday morning.

Washington State Patrol, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board took over the investigation of the crash Saturday night. Names of the people involved have not been released.

The investigation continues.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.khq.com 

Officials have yet to positively identify the man who died when a Clarkston-based helicopter crashed in Garfield County Saturday afternoon while working on a mule deer study for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Garfield County Prosecutor Matt Newberg, who is also the county coroner, said the victim didn't have identification on his person. He also hadn't been able to speak with the two other people in the helicopter because they were hospitalized in Lewiston.

Read more here ➤   http://lmtribune.com