Wednesday, December 04, 2019

AgustaWestland A109SP, N271HC: Accident occurred November 12, 2019 near Spanish Fork, Utah

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah
Leonardo Company; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Accident Number: WPR20LA029
Date & Time: 11/12/2019, 2008 MST
Registration: N271HC
Aircraft: Agusta A109
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled - Air Medical (Discretionary)

On November 12, 2019, about 2008 mountain standard time, an AgustaWestland A109SP helicopter, N271HC, was substantially damaged during cruise flight near Spanish Fork, Utah. The airline transport pilot and flight nurse were not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by IHC Health Services Inc as an unscheduled air medical flight, conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company flight plan was filed for the local flight, which was destined for an off-airport location in Spanish Fork, Utah.

According to the pilot, the helicopter departed its base in Murray, Utah about 1952 and was bound for a motor vehicle accident. When the helicopter was about 5 minutes from its destination, the flight nurse, seated in the left front seat, attempted to contact personnel on the ground to coordinate their landing. He attempted to step on the press-to-talk button located on the cabin floor, to activate the radio microphone, but instead he inadvertently stepped on the left anti-torque pedal, which caused a rapid yaw to the left. A flight recorder indicated that the yaw was about 11°; however, the pilot recounted the yaw to be much more severe and violent. He immediately countered the movement and re-established straight and level flight. They landed the helicopter uneventfully and conducted a walk-around inspection in dark night conditions, which did not reveal any anomalies. During a subsequent flight, after they arrived at the company's home base and went off-duty, the oncoming pilot conducted a walk-around inspection in daylight conditions and discovered damage to the tailboom as he approached the helicopter. The helicopter was immediately taken out of service, repaired, and ferried to the company's maintenance facility.

Postaccident photographs provided by the helicopter operator showed substantial damage to the composite tailboom and tail rotor blades.

The tail section has been retained for further examination.

Rotorcraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Agusta
Registration: N271HC
Model/Series: A109
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: IHC Health Services Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Rotorcraft External Load (133); On-demand Air Taxi (135) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Departure Point: Murray, UT (UT11)
Destination: Spanish Fork, UT

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude: 40.170556, -111.645000 (est)

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