Saturday, September 14, 2019

Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III, N19TV: Accident occurred September 09, 2019 in Walkerton, St. Joseph County, Indiana

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Chicago, Illinois

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Accident Number: CEN19LA309
Date & Time: 09/09/2019, 1330 EDT
Registration: N19TV
Aircraft: Bell 206
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On September 9, 2019, about 1330 eastern daylight time, a Bell 206 helicopter, N19TV, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Walkerton, Indiana. The commercial pilot was not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Abbett Farms LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which operated without a flight plan.

According to information obtained by the Federal Aviation Administration, the pilot reported a partial loss of engine power. He conducted a forced landing near a residence where the helicopter touched down and rolled on its right side.

The helicopter was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N19TV
Model/Series: 206 B
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Abbett Farms Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSBN, 773 ft msl
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:

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:  41.505000, -86.515556

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) Officials are investigating a Monday helicopter crash in Walkerton.

Police were called to the scene around 2:15 p.m.

The pilot, who has been identified as 41-year-old Nathan Schrock, was the only one in the rotorcraft. Police said he was spraying a nearby field when the engine failed.

In a Facebook message, Schrock said, "My only thought was to get it safely on the ground without hurting anyone else. I salvaged the best possible outcome I could with the scenario I was given."

The agricultural Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III landed and crashed into a driveway, damaging a parked pickup truck and livestock trailer as the helicopter fell down onto its side.

Schrock also said he was uninjured.

"[I] was able to crawl from the rotorcraft under my own power," he said.

Linda Roush, who said she lives about 3 miles away, heard about this crash on Facebook.

"I'm thinking, 'Oh, my gosh!' I am just glad nobody got hurt, because that's a mess," Roush said.

The Federal Aviation Administration collected facts on scene Monday evening and will start its investigation soon.

"We will find out hopefully here once we get the rotorcraft to a facility where we can actually do an inspection of the engine to find out what’s going on. ...We look at certain signatures -- how the rotorcraft may have landed, whether it was a hard landing, whether it was a soft landing. …There’s a lot of things that go into the investigation," Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspector Dwayne Hudson said.

Police said Schrock refused medical treatment.

The National Transportation Safety Board will also be investigating.

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  1. Just like VORs and NDBs, Helis are becoming increasingly obsolete once we have sufficiently big electric drones that will do about the same job for 1000 times cheaper. They will become a niche product only for the uber rich or for the military or LE and that's it. But even for the later the Osprey shows the way i.e they need a fixed wing 99% of the time that can hover about 1% of it.

    You can do everything right in a helicopter, maintenance, flying etc... and still crash it because there are just too many moving parts with too much single points of failure. Not a question of if but when you will have to autorotate. And many botched autorotation in the news lately. And the one that killed Troy Gentry.

    Not to mention payload for payload a heli is an order of magnitude more expensive to maintain than anything else that flies. And because of local ordinances you can only fly it where fixed wings can fly or far away from any remotely populated areas.

  2. Better hope it is a big drone coming for you when your dieing on the highway after an accident.

  3. Ambulances do just fine almost all of the time. But for remote hiking or ski accidents they can't be beat. Still very dangerous, though.
    Drones are a non-factor now and in the foreseeable future.

  4. ^^^

    The evolution of drones mimics Moore's law. Faster, cheaper and better about 2X as much every year or so.

    In fact all of today's push in Aviation technology is entirely driven by drones. A CC3D board from 2012 packs more gyros, sensors and GPS than anything certified priced 100000 X times (NO kidding... a CC3D is $15).

    This is for a low level board that samples at 60000 times a second and can control a complex quadcopter perfectly. I won't even get started on the "high end" boards that cost 200-300 bucks that can be programmed from scratch and incorporate cutting edge sensors.

    Oh the paradox as "non certified" cheap hardware becomes 1000 times better and more reliable than the PMA one.

    And it goes straight to, as you can guess, experimental ultralights and soon experimental anything that is manned.