Saturday, April 28, 2018

Collision During Takeoff: Bell UH 1N, N12328; accident occurred May 10, 2020 in Baghdad, Iraq

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Accident Number: ERA20CA191
Date & Time: May 10, 2020, Local 
Registration: N12328
Aircraft: Bell UH 1N 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision during takeoff/land 
Injuries: 4 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Public aircraft


According to operator, the pilots of the helicopter were departing from the heliport for a routine passenger flight in night visual meteorological conditions. The copilot brought the helicopter to a 4 ft hover, transitioned to the left and had commenced forward flight when the main rotor blades struck a security barrier. The helicopter then impacted the ground and the main rotor blades struck the tailboom. Both pilots reported that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The flight crew's inadequate situational awareness and failure to maintain adequate clearance from a security barrier during a night takeoff.


Personnel issues Situational awareness - Flight crew
Aircraft Directional control - Not specified
Environmental issues Dark - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Collision during takeoff/land (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 54, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: April 16, 2020
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: April 16, 2020
Flight Time: 12582 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1160 hours (Total, this make and model)

Co-pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 43, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter; Instrument helicopter 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: December 30, 2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 8, 2020
Flight Time: 4195 hours (Total, all aircraft), 287 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N12328
Model/Series: UH 1N No Series 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted (Special)
Serial Number: 135117
Landing Gear Type: N/A; Skid 
Seats: 11
Date/Type of Last Inspection: May 9, 2020 Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 2 Turbo shaft
Airframe Total Time: 12368 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: P&WC
ELT: C126 installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: PT6T-3B
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 645 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: ORBI,114 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 20:00 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Baghdad (OREZ) T
ype of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: Baghdad (ORBI) 
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 20:02 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: US Embassy Heliport OREZ
Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 114 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 33.29639,44.922222(est)