Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Aérospatiale AS 350B, C-GTNV: Accident occurred March 31, 2019 in Coldfoot, Alaska

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fairbanks, Alaska

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Coldfoot, AK
Accident Number: GAA19CA252
Date & Time: 03/31/2019, 1459 AKD
Registration: C-GTNV
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS350
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use 


The chief pilot reported that the helicopter pilot told him that, while attempting to net a calf during a caribou capture flight, he got within shooting range for the net gun, but the calf suddenly "broke right." He then turned the helicopter to follow the calf, and while turning, the pilot thought the shot would not be possible and that he should set up for another run, but the gunner fired. The pilot heard a "bang," followed by a strong vibration. The pilot landed the helicopter without further incident.

The pilot reported that postaccident examination revealed that one of the main rotor blades had sustained substantial damage, which he assumed was from a net weight.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The gunner's improper net gun firing, which resulted in a net weight impacting the rotor blades.


Personnel issues Incorrect action performance - Not specified
Environmental issues (general) - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial; Foreign
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/24/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/19/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 10866 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3964 hours (Total, this make and model), 9880 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 77 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 47 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aerospatiale
Registration: C-GTNV
Model/Series: AS350 B
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1982
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate:  Normal
Serial Number: 1655
Landing Gear Type: High Skid
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/01/2019, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4961 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 11784.8 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Turbomeca
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: Arriel 1D1
Registered Owner: Trans North Turbo Air Limited
Rated Power: 732 hp
Operator: Trans North Turbo Air Limited
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Rotorcraft External Load (133); Foreign Air Carrier (129) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  15 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point: 0°C / -10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Coldfoot, AK (CXF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: Coldfoot, AK (CXF)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1030 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude: 67.213889, -149.810556 (est)

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