Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Loss of Tail Rotor Effectiveness: Hughes 269A, N269RR; accident occurred July 24, 2019 at Springfield Robertson County Airport (M91), Tennessee

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Springfield, TN
Accident Number: GAA19CA463
Date & Time: 07/24/2019, 1800 CDT
Registration: N269RR
Aircraft: Hughes 269A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of tail rotor effectiveness
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The helicopter pilot reported that, after landing and while hover taxiing and turning right toward the taxiway, the helicopter continued turning right and drifted past the taxiway. He applied full left pedal and then closed the throttle to perform an autorotation to decrease the speed of rotation to no avail. He added collective to reduce the descent rate, but the helicopter landed and slid into a drainage ditch, the main rotor blades impacted a berm near the taxiway, and the helicopter came to rest on its side.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

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

The pilot reported that the wind was from 320° at 11 knots, gusting to 16 knots. The pilot landed the helicopter on runway 04 and was turning right. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain helicopter control and a loss of tail rotor effectiveness while hover-taxiing and turning toward a taxiway in gusting crosswind conditions, which resulted in a dynamic rollover.


Performance/control parameters - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Prop/rotor parameters - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Effect on operation
Crosswind - Effect on operation
Sloped/uneven terrain - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Taxi-from runway
Loss of tail rotor effectiveness (Defining event)
Attempted remediation/recovery
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Roll over

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/08/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/13/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2698 hours (Total, all aircraft), 57.9 hours (Total, this make and model), 1408.8 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Hughes
Registration: N269RR
Model/Series: 269A No Series
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1964
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 105-0410
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/24/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2050 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4353.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: HIO-360-B1A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 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: KJWN, 495 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2255 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 175°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 13 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Clarksville, TN (CKV)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Springfield, TN (M91)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1700 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 706 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 04
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5505 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 36.532500, -86.924167 (est)

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