Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Robinson R44 II, N4504L: Accident occurred June 08, 2019 in Deer Trail, 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 Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Location: Deer Trail, CO
Accident Number: CEN19TA162
Date & Time: 06/09/2019, 1130 MDT
Registration: N4504L
Aircraft: Robinson R44
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On June 8, 2019, about 1130 mountain daylight time, a Robinson R44 helicopter, N4504L, impacted terrain during a low altitude aerial application operation near Deer Trail, Colorado. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered to CO Fire Aviation and operated by Scott Aviation as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight departed about 1120.

The pilot stated that the helicopter was loaded with about 50 gallons of herbicide and 10 to 15 gallons of fuel and that he intended to spray a 20-acre pasture. The pilot estimated that the wind was from the north-northwest about 10 to 12 knots when he departed. After takeoff the helicopter exhibited no performance issues. The pilot completed a survey of the area he intended to spray then noticed that the helicopter was "lacking performance" so he jettisoned about 5 gallons of herbicide to increase the helicopter's performance characteristics. The pilot continued the operation heading south about 100 ft above ground level (agl) and traveling 50 knots with a tailwind. The pilot made a gradual 90° turn toward west to initiate a descent to being spraying the field when the rotor RPM decreased. The pilot already had the throttle full open so he lowered the collective and pitched forward to gain airspeed; the rotor RPM continued to decrease. About 50 ft agl he started to jettison the entire load and was unable to increase the rotor rpm; the helicopter impacted the ground with a forward speed of 60 knots.

The helicopter came to rest on its right side in an open field (figure 1). The tailboom and spray equipment separated during the accident sequence.

Figure 1 – Helicopter in an open field

A preliminary review of the closest weather station, which was about 7 miles southwest of the accident site, revealed the wind was from the northeast at 20 knots, gusting to 28 knots. The density altitude was estimated about 6,500 ft.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson
Registration: N4504L
Model/Series: R44 II
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Scott Aviation
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: , 4830 ft msl
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 20 knots / 28 knots, 45°
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Deer Trail, CO
Destination: Deer Trail, CO

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 39.787500, -103.770556

ADAMS COUNTY, Colorado — A pilot escaped without injury after the crop-dusting helicopter he was flying went down in Adams County Saturday.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the four-seat Robinson R44 helicopter made a hard landing or crashed in a field under unknown circumstances around noon Saturday in Deer Trail. That's near the eastern edge of the county.

The FAA said the pilot, who was the only person on board, was not injured. The impact was hard enough to break off the aircraft's tail.

The crash is under investigation by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.9news.com