Saturday, December 07, 2019

Midair Collision: Piper PA-28R-201 Cherokee Arrow III, N1881H and Robinson R22 Beta, N404TB; accident occurred September 23, 2017 at Clearwater Airpark (KCLW), Pinellas County, Florida


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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

N1881H Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

N1881H Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N1881H

Location: Clearwater, FL
Accident Number: ERA17LA332B
Date & Time: 09/23/2017, 1702 EDT
Registration: N1881H
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28R-201
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Midair collision
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On September 23, 2017, about 1702 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-201 airplane, N1881H, and a Robinson R22 helicopter, N404TB, were substantially damaged when they collided in mid-air over the runway at Clearwater Air Park (CLW), Clearwater, Florida. The private pilot aboard the airplane received minor injuries, and the flight instructor and a pilot-rated student aboard the helicopter also received minor injuries. Both aircraft were owned and operated by Tampa Bay Aviation. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Both flights were operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and no flight plans had been filed. N404TB was an instructional flight that departed CLW at 1730 and N1881H was a personal flight that departed CLW at 1700.

According to the flight instructor, the purpose of the flight was a flight review of the pilot-rated student. He indicated that he never flew with the student pilot prior to the accident and both of them were wearing headsets. The student pilot proceeded to the hover practice area and executed multiple practice maneuvers. All radio calls were made during every turn while in the airport traffic pattern. The instructor performed all radio calls at each leg of the airport traffic pattern during the first approach; while the pilot-rated student made the radio calls at each leg of the airport traffic pattern during the second takeoff and approach to the runway. In addition, prior to every turn, they scanned in all directions for traffic. While on a final approach, the instructor noticed a fixed-wing airplane on the base leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 16, and he announced on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) that they were using runway 34. They heard the pilot of the fixed-wing airplane say something unintelligible and observed the airplane veer away, flying to the west. The instructor then allowed the student to continue the approach to runway 34, which terminated with a hover, touchdown, and liftoff. The flight returned to the airport traffic pattern for runway 34. When the flight was 1 mile from the runway, the student pilot turned onto final approach for runway 34 and executed a steep approach. The instructor told the student to extend the flight path to the segmented circle. The helicopter came to a hover over runway 34 about 15 ft, when he heard a loud sound, and felt the helicopter being pushed forward. The helicopter then began to spin and impacted the ground hard and came to rest upright.

According to the pilot of the airplane, he was operating on the CLW common traffic advisory frequency and stated that between his first and second radio transmission he heard a heavy buzzing sound like a helicopter rotor with the words "34" barely distinguishable. The pilot scanned for air traffic and declared being on downwind via his radio. The pilot quickly turned to the base leg of the traffic pattern and decreased the engine power to descend. About that time, he quickly scanned of the airport environment, focusing on the taxiway to runway 34, the line of trees ahead, as well as the end of the runway and saw nothing unusual. He was confident his calls on the radio were heard. The pilot proceeded to land; about 2 seconds prior to the impact he saw the helicopter hovering "immobile," about 10 ft above the runway. He recalled the tail was pointed towards the airplane and absolutely stationary. The pilot tried to avoid the helicopter, then heard a loud sound followed by the airplane inverting and sliding on its canopy. After the airplane came to a stop the pilot exited the airplane.

According to another pilot/witness that was approaching CLW, about 2 miles west of the airport, he heard the radio call from the helicopter when it was on a 1-mile final at 500 ft. He flew over CLW and saw the accident outcome. He indicated that he was monitoring the CLW CTAF and did not hear the pilot of the airplane announce his intentions. Due to the accident the witness diverted to another local airport.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined both aircraft at the accident site and discovered that both the helicopter and airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane sustained damage to the fuselage and the left wing separated from the airframe. The helicopter's tubed airframe was buckled. Examination of the radio communication system in the airplane and helicopter did not reveal any anomalies.

A review of a surveillance video showed the helicopter descending and slowing to stationary hover over the runway 34 threshold. Just as the helicopter had slowed to a hover, the airplane entered the frame of the video from the left, about 2 seconds before the collision. At that point the airplane's main landing gear appeared to be on, or just above the ground, and it then entered a slight climb as it continued down the runway. At this point the helicopter was oriented with its nose facing down the runway, while the airplane was approaching the helicopter from behind. Over the next 2 seconds, the airplane climb to roughly the height of the hovering helicopter before the airplane's left wing struck the aft side of the helicopter. The helicopter yawed to the left and descended to the ground, while the airplane rolled left and impacted the ground in an inverted attitude.

See-and-Avoid Concept


According to 14 CFR 91.113, "Right-of-Way Rules," "when weather conditions permit, regardless of whether an operation is conducted under instrument flight rules or visual flight rules, vigilance shall be maintained by each person operating an aircraft so as to see and avoid other aircraft." In addition, FAA AC 90-48D, "Pilots' Role in Collision Avoidance," which was in effect at the time of the accident, stated that the see-and-avoid concept requires vigilance at all times by each pilot, regardless of whether the flight is conducted under instrument flight rules or VFR. 

Pilot Information


Certificate: Private
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/11/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/01/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 284 hours (Total, all aircraft), 34 hours (Total, this make and model), 148 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 26 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N1881H
Model/Series: PA 28R-201 201
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28R-7737015
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/13/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2749 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 70 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5718 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-C1C6
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 200 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan


Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: CLW, 71 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1653 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 9500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 100°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.83 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Clearwater, FL (CLW)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Clearwater, FL (CLW)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1600 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information


Airport: CLEARWATER AIR PARK (CLW)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 71 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 34
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4108 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information


Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 27.977222, -82.759167 (est)

N404TB Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

N404TB Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms 

 
N1881H Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


http://registry.faa.gov/N404TB


Location: Clearwater, FL
Accident Number: ERA17LA332A
Date & Time: 09/23/2017, 1702 EDT
Registration: N404TB
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Midair collision
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On September 23, 2017, about 1702 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-201 airplane, N1881H, and a Robinson R22 helicopter, N404TB, were substantially damaged when they collided in mid-air over the runway at Clearwater Air Park (CLW), Clearwater, Florida. The private pilot aboard the airplane received minor injuries, and the flight instructor and a pilot-rated student aboard the helicopter also received minor injuries. Both aircraft were owned and operated by Tampa Bay Aviation. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Both flights were operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and no flight plans had been filed. N404TB was an instructional flight that departed CLW at 1730 and N1881H was a personal flight that departed CLW at 1700.

According to the flight instructor, the purpose of the flight was a flight review of the pilot-rated student. He indicated that he never flew with the student pilot prior to the accident and both of them were wearing headsets. The student pilot proceeded to the hover practice area and executed multiple practice maneuvers. All radio calls were made during every turn while in the airport traffic pattern. The instructor performed all radio calls at each leg of the airport traffic pattern during the first approach; while the pilot-rated student made the radio calls at each leg of the airport traffic pattern during the second takeoff and approach to the runway. In addition, prior to every turn, they scanned in all directions for traffic. While on a final approach, the instructor noticed a fixed-wing airplane on the base leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 16, and he announced on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) that they were using runway 34. They heard the pilot of the fixed-wing airplane say something unintelligible and observed the airplane veer away, flying to the west. The instructor then allowed the student to continue the approach to runway 34, which terminated with a hover, touchdown, and liftoff. The flight returned to the airport traffic pattern for runway 34. When the flight was 1 mile from the runway, the student pilot turned onto final approach for runway 34 and executed a steep approach. The instructor told the student to extend the flight path to the segmented circle. The helicopter came to a hover over runway 34 about 15 ft, when he heard a loud sound, and felt the helicopter being pushed forward. The helicopter then began to spin and impacted the ground hard and came to rest upright.

According to the pilot of the airplane, he was operating on the CLW common traffic advisory frequency and stated that between his first and second radio transmission he heard a heavy buzzing sound like a helicopter rotor with the words "34" barely distinguishable. The pilot scanned for air traffic and declared being on downwind via his radio. The pilot quickly turned to the base leg of the traffic pattern and decreased the engine power to descend. About that time, he quickly scanned of the airport environment, focusing on the taxiway to runway 34, the line of trees ahead, as well as the end of the runway and saw nothing unusual. He was confident his calls on the radio were heard. The pilot proceeded to land; about 2 seconds prior to the impact he saw the helicopter hovering "immobile," about 10 ft above the runway. He recalled the tail was pointed towards the airplane and absolutely stationary. The pilot tried to avoid the helicopter, then heard a loud sound followed by the airplane inverting and sliding on its canopy. After the airplane came to a stop the pilot exited the airplane.

According to another pilot/witness that was approaching CLW, about 2 miles west of the airport, he heard the radio call from the helicopter when it was on a 1-mile final at 500 ft. He flew over CLW and saw the accident outcome. He indicated that he was monitoring the CLW CTAF and did not hear the pilot of the airplane announce his intentions. Due to the accident the witness diverted to another local airport.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined both aircraft at the accident site and discovered that both the helicopter and airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane sustained damage to the fuselage and the left wing separated from the airframe. The helicopter's tubed airframe was buckled. Examination of the radio communication system in the airplane and helicopter did not reveal any anomalies.

A review of a surveillance video showed the helicopter descending and slowing to stationary hover over the runway 34 threshold. Just as the helicopter had slowed to a hover, the airplane entered the frame of the video from the left, about 2 seconds before the collision. At that point the airplane's main landing gear appeared to be on, or just above the ground, and it then entered a slight climb as it continued down the runway. At this point the helicopter was oriented with its nose facing down the runway, while the airplane was approaching the helicopter from behind. Over the next 2 seconds, the airplane climb to roughly the height of the hovering helicopter before the airplane's left wing struck the aft side of the helicopter. The helicopter yawed to the left and descended to the ground, while the airplane rolled left and impacted the ground in an inverted attitude.

See-and-Avoid Concept

According to 14 CFR 91.113, "Right-of-Way Rules," "when weather conditions permit, regardless of whether an operation is conducted under instrument flight rules or visual flight rules, vigilance shall be maintained by each person operating an aircraft so as to see and avoid other aircraft." In addition, FAA AC 90-48D, "Pilots' Role in Collision Avoidance," which was in effect at the time of the accident, stated that the see-and-avoid concept requires vigilance at all times by each pilot, regardless of whether the flight is conducted under instrument flight rules or VFR.

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 32, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/09/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  224 hours (Total, all aircraft), 224 hours (Total, this make and model), 30 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 58, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s):None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s):None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/11/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 5203 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: ROBINSON HELICOPTER
Registration: N404TB
Model/Series: R22 Beta
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3747
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/22/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1369 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 2 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3340 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-J2A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 145 hp
Operator:On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: CLW, 71 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1653 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 9500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: 
Wind Direction: 100°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: 
Altimeter Setting: 29.83 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Clearwater, FL (CLW)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Clearwater, FL (CLW)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1630 EDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: CLEARWATER AIR PARK (CLW)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 71 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 34
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4108 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Stop and Go

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 27.977222, -82.759167 (est)

2 comments:

  1. an accident, injuries, damages, an investigation, and all NTSB concludes is According to 14 CFR 91.113, "Right-of-Way Rules," and FAA AC 90-48D, "Pilots' Role in Collision Avoidance," thus all concerned were blamed?

    NO rules violated??

    No enforcement actions?

    ReplyDelete
  2. No deaths on a midair with a rotor. That a grateful group of guys.

    ReplyDelete