Sunday, June 09, 2019

Dynamic Rollover: Bell OH-58A Kiowa, N303HP, accident occurred June 19, 2018 at Garner Road Heliport (3NC2), Raleigh, North Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Raleigh, NC
Accident Number: ERA18LA170
Date & Time: 06/19/2018, 1406 EDT
Registration: N303HP
Aircraft: BELL OH 58A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Dynamic rollover
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Public Aircraft


In preparation for a local flight, the commercial pilot moved the helicopter from the hangar to the helipad on an electric transporter that was attached to the helicopter skids. During the pilot's preflight preparation, shortly after he had unhooked the left skid from the transporter, the passenger interrupted him to ask if the flight controls could be removed from the copilot's side. After removing the controls, the pilot continued with his preflight inspection; however, he forgot to unhook the right skid from the transporter. Subsequently, during the takeoff, the helicopter rolled right until the main rotor blades struck the ground. The pilot's failure to unhook the transporter from the right skid led to the subsequent dynamic rollover.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection, during which he failed to detach ground handling equipment from the helicopter before initiating the takeoff, which resulted in the subsequent dynamic rollover.


Lateral/bank control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Preflight inspection - Pilot (Cause)
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Lack of action - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information 

On June 19, 2018, about 1406 eastern daylight time, a Bell OH-58A, N303HP, operated by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, was substantially damaged during takeoff at the Garner Road Heliport (3NC2), Raleigh, North Carolina. The commercial pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the local public use flight.

According to the pilot, he moved the helicopter from the hangar to the helipad using an electric/hydraulic transporter attached to the helicopter skids. During his preflight preparation, as he unhooked the transporter clamp from the left skid, the passenger, seated in the left front co-pilot seat, inquired about removing the controls from the co-pilot's side of the helicopter. The pilot had not intended to remove them, though he decided to do so after the passenger's inquiry. After removing the controls, he continued with the preflight inspection; however, he reported that he forgot to unhook the transporter from the right skid. Subsequently during the takeoff, the helicopter rolled to the right until the main rotor blades struck the ground.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for rotorcraft-helicopter and instrument helicopter. He held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane-single engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate was issued March 26, 2018, at which time he reported 882 total hours of flight experience. He reported a total of 732 hours in make and model of the accident helicopter.

The helicopter was manufactured in 1970 by Bell Helicopter. It was equipped with a Rolls Royce (Allison) T63-A-720, 317-shaft horsepower engine. The helicopter's airframe and engine had accrued 9,093 and 3,959 hours total time, respectively. A 100-hour inspection was completed on May 24, 2018, and the engine accrued 19.5 hours since that inspection. The engine had accumulated 2,184 hours since overhaul.

The helicopter was examined by an FAA inspector and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The helicopter came to rest on its left side, partially inverted. Examination revealed substantial damage to the fuselage, tail boom, and main rotor blades. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Review of the operator's standard operating procedures indicated that single crewmember operations could be conducted with passengers aboard if the mission dictated such a crew and a first line supervisor authorized the single crew flight. Written procedures also required that "aircrews will assist each other . . . to assure a thorough pre-flight inspection…" and that "the Pilot and Co-Pilot will be aware and avoid all potential distractions and/or interruptions during their pre-flight activities." On the day of the accident, the helicopter was weight-limited with a passenger on board and therefore the flight was authorized to operate with a single pilot rather than the standard two-pilot crew.

History of Flight

Prior to flight
Ground handling event

Dynamic rollover (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 45, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/26/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/08/2018
Flight Time:  1007 hours (Total, all aircraft), 732 hours (Total, this make and model), 712 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 55 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 22 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELL
Registration: N303HP
Model/Series: OH 58A NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1970
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 70-15384
Landing Gear Type: High Skid
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/24/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 19 Hours
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 9094 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Allison
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: T63-A-700
Rated Power: 317 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: RDU, 416 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1351 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 322°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: Unknown / None
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.92 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Raleigh, NC (3NC2)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Raleigh, NC (3NC2)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1404 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 375 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: H1
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 100 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  35.731944, -78.628611 (est)

1 comment:

  1. That was an expensive mistake that taxpayers will cover. Have to wonder what they are doing with a Kiowa.