Monday, August 12, 2019

Schweizer 269C-1 (300CBi), N1831A: Accident occurred August 11, 2019 near Lehigh Valley International Airport, (KABE), Allentown, Northampton County, Pennsylvania

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allentown, Pennsylvania
Sikorsky; Stratford, Connecticut
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Schweizer RSG LLC; Fort Worth, Texas

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N1831A

Location: Allentown, PA
Accident Number: ERA19LA245
Date & Time: 08/11/2019, 1448 EDT
Registration: N1831A
Aircraft: Schweizer 269C
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use - Sightseeing

On August 11, 2019, at 1448 eastern daylight time, a Schweizer 269C-1, N1831A, was substantially damage when it collided with a building during an emergency descent near the Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE), Allentown, Pennsylvania. The flight instructor sustained serious injuries and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was owned and operated by Ace Pilot Training Inc., as a sightseeing flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to air traffic control, the flight instructor contacted ABE tower and reported that he was at "hangar seven" and "ready for departure." Air traffic control advised the flight instructor "depart from hangar seven at your own risk and remain south of taxiway alpha; proceed on course, report on station." The flight instructor acknowledged the clearance prior to departure. A few minutes later, the flight instructor radioed "mayday, mayday, mayday, three one alpha going down."

A review of cockpit video footage showed the pilot conducting checklist items before departure while the engine was operating. The helicopter was brought to a hover and a right hovering 90° turn was performed. The flight instructor began to fly low over the field before making a left banking turn around an airport hangar while starting a climb. When the helicopter reached about 300 ft above ground level, a low rotor speed warning light was observed and an audible horn activated. The helicopter collided with a building shortly thereafter.

Examination of the helicopter by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the helicopter came to rest in a grassy area on the side of the building. The cockpit was impact damaged. Examination of the main rotor blades revealed all three blades remained attached to the main rotor hub and were buckled. The tail boom was buckled and impact damaged. The tail rotor blades were buckled and remained attached to the tail rotor gearbox.

The helicopter was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Schweizer
Registration: N1831A
Model/Series: 269C 1
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Ace Pilot Training Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ABE, 393 ft msl
Observation Time: 1451 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 250°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Allentown, PA (ABE)
Destination: Allentown, PA (ABE)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 40.652222, -75.440556 (est)



Two people were taken to the hospital after a helicopter crashed in an industrial park just outside Lehigh Valley International Airport Sunday afternoon, officials said.

Airport spokesman Colin Riccobon said the craft, which went down around 2:45 p.m., had two occupants and was from ACE Pilot Training School at the airport.

The Schweizer 269C hit a building on the 900 block of Postal Road in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, resulting in minor injuries to the pilot and the passenger, said Kevin Harwick, assistant chief of Han-Le-Co Fire Company.

He said the pilot and passenger were taken to St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill.

A large scrape could be seen on the side of the building where the helicopter apparently hit.

Riccobon said since the crash happened off airport property, the response is being handled by Pennsylvania State Police-Bethlehem. The Federal Aviation Administration and Flight Standards District Office will conduct the investigation, Riccobon said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the two individuals and their families involved in this incident.” LVIA officials said in a statement.

The building houses Schaefer Industrial Ceramics, which makes pouring cups and other parts for metal casting industries. Building owner Nick Schaefer arrived at the scene around 6 p.m. to observe the damage done to the building, which he described as “very minimal.”

About half an hour later, crews hauled the body and tail of the helicopter -- in pieces -- onto a tow truck.

Schaefer said business should resume as usual Monday.

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

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