Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Robinson R44 Raven II, N883TY: Accident occurred June 29, 2019 in Parsons, Tucker County, West Virginia

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charleston, West Virginia

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Location: Parsons, WV
Accident Number: ERA19TA204
Date & Time: 06/29/2019, 1139 EDT
Registration: N883TY
Aircraft: Robinson R44
Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 29, 2019, about 1140 eastern daylight time, a Robinson R44 helicopter, N883TY, was substantially damage when it collided with a telephone line and then a river near Parsons, West Virginia. The private pilot and one passenger sustained minor injuries, and a second passenger sustained serious injuries. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Ali Co. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated about 15 minutes earlier from Elgon, West Virginia.

According to the pilot, he fueled his helicopter then flew to a private residence to pick up the passengers for a sightseeing flight. He stated that he was flying in the river basin, rounded a bend, and struck a telephone wire. He reported that he had flown along the Cheat River before and had typically been above the wires but had never even noticed the wires that the helicopter struck.

Initial examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the helicopter came to rest on the right side in about 5 ft of water with the telephone cable wrapped around the main rotor. The tail rotor was sheared off and the tail boom was located about 50 ft downriver from the main wreckage.

According to FAA airman records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for rotorcraft-helicopter. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in January 2019. The pilot reported more than 700 hours in the accident helicopter make and model.

According to FAA airworthiness records, the helicopter was manufactured in 2014.

At 1153, the weather reported at Morgantown Municipal Airport (MGW), Morgantown, West Virginia, about 26 miles northwest of the accident site, included variable wind at 6 knots, clear skies, temperature 29° C, dew point 20° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.18 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson
Registration: N883TY
Model/Series: R44 II
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Ali Co
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MGW, 1243 ft msl
Observation Time: 1153 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 26 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3600 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable / , Variable
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.18 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Elgon, WV
Destination: Elgon, WV 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 39.226944, -79.720833

UPDATE: (6/29/19 9:41 p.m.): The helicopter that crashed in the Cheat River in Tucker County at about noon Saturday has been recovered for further investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

West Virginia State Police troopers said a wire was found wrapped around the blades of the helicopter, and it may have contributed to the crash.

The FAA has yet to determine the exact cause of the crash.

Authorities in Tucker County are investigating after a helicopter crashed there Saturday morning.

It happened at about 11:30 Saturday morning on Route 72, north of Parsons.

West Virginia State Police said three people were in the helicopter when it crashed into the Cheat River, near Licking Creek Road.

They said two people have been airlifted to Ruby Memorial Hospital, and the third person was transported by ambulance.

There is no word yet on the nature of their injuries or the cause of the crash.

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