Monday, April 01, 2019

Bell 222, local personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, N222ML: Accident occurred March 30, 2019 in Montgomery, Orange County, New York

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Teterboro

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Montgomery, NY
Accident Number: ERA19LA145
Date & Time: 03/30/2019, 1230 EDT
Registration: N222ML
Aircraft: Bell 222
Injuries: 1 Minor, 5 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 30, 2019, about 1230 eastern daylight time, a Bell 222, N222ML, was substantially damaged during a forced landing shortly after takeoff near Montgomery, New York. The private pilot was not injured, while one of the five passengers sustained minor injuries. No flight plan was filed for the local personal flight that was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

The pilot stated he completed a preflight checklist, boarded passengers, and started the engines. Prior to takeoff, all gauges were in a normal range. He departed and about 1,000 ft he noticed the engine one needle dropped, indicating it had lost power, and the engine two needle spiked. He made a sharp left turn to return to the airstrip and perform a run-on landing. As the helicopter was touching down, a strong northeast wind pushed the helicopter left and the left landing gear to touched down in the grass, which pulled the helicopter onto uneven ground. The helicopter came to a stop, then tipped over onto its left side and the main rotor impacted the ground. After it came to rest there was a small fire underneath helicopter. All the occupants exited the helicopter and the fire was extinguished.

The helicopter was righted to prevent a fuel leak. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector traveled to the site and examined the helicopter. The rotor and transmission was separated and laying next to the helicopter. There was damage to the nose and fire damage to the upper portion of the fuselage aft of the number one engine.

The ten-seat helicopter was equipped with two Honeywell LTS-101 turboshaft engines.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for helicopter-rotorcraft. His most recent FAA third-class airman medical certificate was issued on August 31, 2017, at that time he reported 250 total flight hours.

At 1230, the weather conditions reported at Orange County Airport (MGJ), Montgomery, New York, about 3 miles southeast of the accident site included, wind from 170° at 13 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 18°C, dew point 6°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.95 inches of mercury.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N222ML
Model/Series: 222 A
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMGJ, 365 ft msl
Observation Time: 1230 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 13 knots / , 170°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Montgomery, NY
Destination: Montgomery, NY

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor, 4 None
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 5 None
Latitude, Longitude:  41.539444, -74.306944

TOWN OF CRAWFORD – Six people suffered only minor injuries when the helicopter they were in made a hard landing and overturned shortly after takeoff at 12:38 p.m. on Saturday.

All of the occupants – including the pilot and five passengers – refused medical attention after the chopper crashed in a field off Youngblood Road in the Town of Crawford. One suffered a minor laceration while exiting the aircraft.

Police Chief Dominick Blasko said the rotorcraft experienced a loss of engine power on take off and overturned during attempted force landing. 

A fuel leak from the chopper was contained by hazmat crews.

Crawford Police were assisted at the scene by State Police, State Environmental Conservation Police, Bullville Fire Department, Pine Bush Ambulance and Mobile Life Support Services.

The investigation is continuing.

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