Tuesday, April 30, 2019

External Load Event (Rotorcraft): Hughes 369D, N58424, accident occurred August 10, 2017 in Villa Grove, Saguache County, Colorado

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

Additional participating entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms 

Location: Villa Grove, CO
Accident Number: CEN17LA314
Date & Time: 08/10/2017, 1400 MDT
Registration: N58424
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: External load event (Rotorcraft)
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load 

On August 10, 2017, about 1400 mountain daylight time, a Hughes 369D helicopter, N58424, had its tail rotor impact a powerline near Villa Grove, Colorado. The pilot received serious injuries. The helicopter sustained substantial tailboom and fuselage damage. The helicopter was registered to Quicksilver Air Inc. and operated by Patrol Helicopters Inc. as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 133 rotorcraft external load flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area about the time of the accident, and the flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from a field near the accident site.

According to the pilot's accident report, the purpose of the flight was to assist power line construction. After pulling a sock line through several structures, the helicopter was flown inside an angle tower. As the pilot was flying the helicopter away from the angle tower, he flew the helicopter to his right while planning on backing up at the same time. The next tower came into view and the helicopter's speed to the right was faster than planned. The helicopter's main rotors contacted a tower and the helicopter subsequently "crashed." The pilot indicated that the helicopter did not have any mechanical malfunctions. The pilot was not wearing a helmet.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/28/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/08/2016
Flight Time:  19500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 16000 hours (Total, this make and model), 18500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 67.3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 50.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: HUGHES
Registration: N58424
Model/Series: 369D
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1979
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 1090593D
Landing Gear Type: Skid 
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls Royce
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 250 C20B
Rated Power: 420 hp
Operator: Patrol Helicopters Inc.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Rotorcraft External Load (133)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: Y3OL

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KALS, 7541 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 49 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1352 MDT
Direction from Accident Site: 175°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.33 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Villa Grove, CO
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  MDT
Type of Airspace: 

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: 38.254444, -105.947778 (est)

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