Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Bell 47G-2, N5990; accident occurred May 06, 2019 at Denton Enterprise Airport (KDTO), Denton County, Texas

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Denton, TX

Accident Number: GAA19CA250
Date & Time: 05/06/2019, 1020 CDT
Registration: N5990
Aircraft: BELL 47G
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

The student helicopter pilot reported that he hovered to the parking pad and landed with the nose of the helicopter facing north. The skid placement on the parking pad was incorrect, and the instructor directed the student to reposition the helicopter about 3ft to the left. The student brought the helicopter to a hover and repositioned the helicopter 3ft to the left.

However, before the student established a descent and landed, the helicopter encountered a tailwind gust. The nose pitched down, the rotor rpm decreased, and the helicopter traveled about 75ft forward. The skids contacted the ground hard, and the helicopter came to an abrupt stop, upright and facing downslope. The main rotor blades struck the tail rotor drive shaft and the tailboom. The tail rotor gear box and the tail rotor separated from the helicopter.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail rotor drive system, the tailboom, and the main rotor blades.

The airport's Meteorological Aerodrome Report, about the time of the accident, reported that the wind was from 180° at 15 knots, and the cloud layer was broken at 800ft. The predominant wind about 30 minutes prior to the accident was from 170° at 13 knots. One-hour prior, the wind was from 160 at 09 knots.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 54, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/15/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 24 hours (Total, all aircraft), 15 hours (Total, this make and model), 24 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Flight Engineer
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s):  Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Helicopter; Instrument Airplane; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/30/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/07/2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 30000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 200 hours (Total, this make and model), 25000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 100 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELL
Registration: N5990
Model/Series: 47G 2
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1992
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2396
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/07/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3360.1 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: VO-435-A1
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 270 hp
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: KDTO, 642 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1528 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 348°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 8000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 15 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 180°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: DENTON, TX (DTO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: DENTON, TX (DTO)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0900 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Denton Enterprise (DTO)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 642 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used:N/A 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
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:  33.202222, -97.198056 (est)

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