Friday, February 22, 2019

Hughes 369E, registered to K&S Helicopters and operated by Paradise Helicopters under the provision of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight, N506PH: Accident occurred February 21, 2019 in Kukuihaele, 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:

Location: Kukuihaele, HI
Accident Number: WPR19LA087
Date & Time: 02/21/2019, 0659 HST
Registration: N506PH
Aircraft: MD HELICOPTER 369
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning 

On February 21, 2019, about 0659 Hawaii-Aleutian standard time, a McDonnel Douglas, MD 369E helicopter, N506PH, impacted terrain during a forced-landing about 1 mile south-east of Kukuihaele, Hawaii. The commercial pilot was seriously injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and tail boom. The helicopter was registered to K&S Helicopters and operated by Paradise Helicopters under the provision of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area about the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Hilo International Airport, Hilo, Hawaii about 0600.

The pilot reported that he was maneuvering to land at an off-airport pick up site. He started the approach to land and while in a descending turn to the right, he observed, out of the corner of his eye, a yellow flash, followed by a red flash. The pilot then looked inside the helicopter and saw the engine out light illuminate and heard an alarm activate. He noticed the exhaust gas temperature at about 909° C and the engine torque gauge indicated 0%. He established an autorotational descent and found a suitable landing area. During touchdown, the tail rotor assembly and left skid assembly broke away followed by the helicopter rolling to the left. The helicopter came to rest on its left side with the engine still running. The pilot shutdown the engine and exited through the front wind screen area with the help of witnesses.

Two witness's reported hearing a bang followed by observing the helicopter descend to the ground. The helicopter was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MD HELICOPTER
Registration: N506PH
Model/Series: 369 E
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commercial Air Tour (136); Commuter Air Carrier (135) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:  0659 HST
Distance from Accident Site: 37 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:

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: 20.110833, -155.554167 (est)

HONOKAA — A 39-year-old man was transported to North Hawaii Community Hospital in serious condition following a tour helicopter crash at around 7 a.m. today near Kukuihaele, according to the Hawaii Fire Department

The crash occurred on private land accessible through Waipio on Horseback Ranch, near the 7.5-mile marker of Honokaa-Waipio Road (Highway 240) near the Waipio lookout. The crash site wasn’t visible from the highway and the Tribune-Herald wasn’t allowed to visit the crash site.

The Fire Department said the crash was on open land about 200 yards mauka of the highway.

The department said the crash was a result of engine failure.

No passengers were on board when what the helicopter’s owners, K&S Helicopters, dba Paradise Helicopters, described in a statement as a “hard landing … while arriving for a utility flight” occurred.

The pilot self-extricated and was able to walk away from the rotorcraft. K&S said he was hospitalized “for further evaluation as a precautionary measure.”

“The care of our pilot is our highest priority right now,” said Calvin Dorn, K&S CEO. Dorn didn’t identify the pilot.

K&S said it “is cooperating with authorities involved” and Hawaii Police Department Capt. Albert Jason Cortez said the Federal Aviation Administration “has been contacted regarding this.”

“We classify this as a public accident,” Cortez said.

Police said the helicopter ended up on its side. Asked about damage to the aircraft, Cortez replied, “There was some damage but not as much as you’d expect considering there was a crash.”

According to the FAA aircraft registry, the helicopter is a McDonnell Douglas 369E manufactured in 1989 with an Allison 250-C20 turboshaft engine. Its airworthiness certificate was issued Aug. 22, 2011, with an expiration date of Aug. 31, 2020.

Original article ➤

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