Sunday, June 09, 2019

Robinson R66, N7040P: Accident occurred June 19, 2018 in Cordova, Alaska

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Cordova, AK
Accident Number: GAA18CA366 
Date & Time: 06/19/2018, 1045 AKD
Registration: N7040P
Aircraft: Robinson R66
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled


The helicopter pilot reported that, after multiple attempts to find a suitable landing site on a mountain ridgetop, the tail rotor impacted brush during landing. The helicopter pivoted, the main rotor contacted a communications tower, and the helicopter then rotated 180° and rolled onto its left side.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the windscreen and main rotor mast.

The 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 pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for landing, which resulted in impact with brush and a loss of helicopter control.


Personnel issues
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Mountainous/hilly terrain - Effect on operation
Tower/antenna (incl guy wires) - Contributed to outcome
Object/animal/substance - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Roll over

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 50, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/27/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/18/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 13000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 450 hours (Total, this make and model), 12000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson
Registration: N7040P
Model/Series: R66 No Series
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 0185
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/21/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2700 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 460 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls Royce
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: RR300
Registered Owner: A.C.E. Flyers Inc
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: Ridgeline Aviation Inc.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: 3RLA 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PACV, 31 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 24 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1853 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 242°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 1700 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3200 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / 11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Cordova, AK (CKU)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Cordova, AK
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:  60.675000, -144.741944 (est)

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