Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Robinson R44 Clipper II, N344R; accident occurred April 02, 2019 at Taunton Municipal Airport (KTAN), Bristol County, Massachusetts

View of damaged fuselage.
Federal Aviation Administration

View of damaged tailcone and horizontal stabilizer.
Federal Aviation Administration

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boston, Massachusetts

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Taunton, MA
Accident Number: GAA19CA195
Date & Time: 04/02/2019, 1243 EDT
Registration: N344R
Aircraft: Robinson R44
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The helicopter pilot reported that, after landing in an empty parking spot, he realized that he was oriented with a tailwind. He decided to reposition the helicopter and shortly after liftoff, he felt a strong gust from the left, the helicopter's right skid impacted the ground and dynamically rolled over.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, tailcone, and horizontal stabilizer.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The automated weather observation station located on the airport reported that, about 10 minutes after the accident, the wind was 150° at 12 knots, gusting up to 19 knots. The pilot reported that the wind was variable and gusting. The helicopter was oriented to the northwest. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/09/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/24/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 920.7 hours (Total, all aircraft), 116.5 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson
Registration: N344R
Model/Series: R44 II
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 10288
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/15/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-540
Registered Owner: Jrvc Transportation Inc
Rated Power:
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: KTAN, 43 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1652 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 294°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 12 knots / 19 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 150°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.42 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / -6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: New Bedford, MA (EWB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Taunton, MA (TAN)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1100 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: Taunton Muni - King Field (TAN)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 41 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 30
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3500 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire:None 
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 41.874444, -71.016389 (est)

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