Saturday, July 13, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Robinson R44 II, N7535G; accident occurred July 26, 2017 at John Wayne-Orange County Airport (KSNA), Santa Ana, Orange County, California

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Long Beach, California

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Santa Ana, CA
Accident Number: WPR17LA167
Date & Time: 07/26/2017, 1945 PDT
Registration: N7535G
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning 

On July 26, 2017, about 1945 Pacific daylight time, a Robinson Helicopter R44, N7535G, was substantially damaged following takeoff at John Wayne-Orange County Airport (SNA), Santa Ana, California. The commercial pilot was not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by RS Aviation Services as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a company flight plan. The flight originated from SNA with an intended destination of Bob Hope Airport (BUR), Burbank, California.

The pilot reported that during takeoff, he experienced a sudden right roll which was uncorrectable with the cyclic input. Video that captured the accident sequence revealed that shortly after takeoff, the helicopter rolled to the right, and the right skid and main rotor blades struck the ground. The helicopter then spun 360° before it came to rest upright with the tailrotor assembly severed from the tailboom.

Postaccident examination of the wreckage at the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that flight control continuity was established with no evidence of a preimpact mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 30, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/01/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/11/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1298 hours (Total, all aircraft), 657 hours (Total, this make and model), 1231 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 148 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 39 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N7535G
Model/Series: R44 II II
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 11181
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/11/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 38 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1808.3 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-AE1A5
Rated Power: 245 hp
Operator: Orbic Air LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: 1OBA 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: SNA
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 0253 UTC
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 1500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: 
Wind Direction: 220°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: 
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Santa Ana, CA (SNA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: Burbank, CA (BUR)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1945 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class C

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 56 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: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 33.675556, -117.868333 (est)

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if there are any Robinsons older than a few years? They all seem to wind up in an accident.