Monday, April 15, 2019

Bell 206L-1 LongRanger II, registered to and operated by Air Evac EMS Inc as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 emergency medical services flight, N395AE: Accident occurred April 15, 2019 at Fairview Park Hospital Heliport (48GA), Dublin, Laurens County, Georgia

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia
Rolls Royce; Indianapolis, Indiana
Air Evac EMS, Inc; O'Fallon, Missouri

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Dublin, GA
Accident Number: ERA19LA152
Date & Time: 04/15/2019, 0351 EDT
Registration: N395AE
Aircraft: Bell 206
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled - Air Medical (Medical Emergency)

On April 15, 2019, at 0351 eastern daylight time, a Bell 206-L1+ helicopter, N395AE, sustained substantial damage when it made a hard landing after a total loss of engine power on takeoff from the Fairview Park Hospital Heliport (48GA), Dublin, Georgia. The airline transport rated pilot, flight nurse, and paramedic were not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Air Evac EMS, Inc., as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 emergency medical services flight. Visual nighttime meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight destined for Macon, Georgia.

The pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to pick-up a patient in Macon, Georgia, and transfer them to a hospital in Augusta, Georgia. He said he completed a preflight inspection and the engine start was normal. Once the preflight checklists were completed, the pilot applied power, and pulled the helicopter into a hover. He then turned the helicopter into the wind and prepared to make an "altitude or airspeed" takeoff. The pilot said, "I completed a power check with the torque reading of 74.8%. I then used about 86% torque to accomplish the altitude over airspeed takeoff to clear obstacles. As I started to accelerate forward and gain climb-out airspeed, a loud report was heard from the engine deck area followed by an announcement/question from the flight nurse, 'What was that bang?'" The engine then made a "clicking" noise that sounded like paper on fan blades. The pilot said the helicopter immediately began to descend and hit the ground and bounced. It translated to the right (direction of travel), before it came to rest upright. The pilot rolled the throttle to idle and shutdown the engine.

A postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed the vertical fin was struck and separated by contact with the main rotor blades and the skids were spread. The pilot's wind-screen was broken and the stinger and a portion of the tail rotor fairing had separated from the helicopter. Fuel samples taken from the helicopter were absent of debris and water, and there were no obvious signs of foreign debris in the engine intake area.

The helicopter was retained for further examination.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land; rotorcraft-helicopter, and instrument airplane and rotorcraft-helicopter. He was also a certified flight instructor for airplane single and multiengine land, rotorcraft-helicopter, and instrument airplane and rotorcraft-helicopter. The pilot reported a total of 9,160 hours, of which, 206 were in the same make/model as the accident helicopter. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical was issued on May 8, 2018, without limitations or waivers.

At 0335, weather at the W H 'Bud' Barron Airport (DBN), Dublin, Georgia, located about 3 miles northwest of the accident site, was reported as wind from 290° at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles and clear skies. The temperature was 12° C and the dewpoint was 8° C.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N395AE
Model/Series: 206 L1
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Air Evac Ems Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter Air Carrier (135) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: DBN, 311 ft msl
Observation Time: 0335 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 290°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.87 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Dublin, GA (48GA)
Destination: Macon, GA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude:  32.000000, -82.000000 (est)

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