Thursday, December 19, 2019

Unknown or Undetermined: Robinson R44 Raven II, N3066T; accident occurred July 31, 2019 in Fessenden, Wells County, North Dakota

View of damage to the horizontal stabilizer. 
 Federal Aviation Administration

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fargo, North Dakota

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Fessenden, ND
Accident Number: GAA19CA473
Date & Time: 07/31/2019, 0830 CDT
Registration: N3066T
Aircraft: Robinson R44
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Unknown or undetermined
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

The helicopter pilot reported that, during the aerial application flight into rising terrain, he saw the powerline wires when the airspeed was about 40 knots. The helicopter struck the wires and rolled to the right, and subsequently descended. The helicopter touched down upright and bounced. The nose of the helicopter spun to the right and the right skid struck the ground. The helicopter rolled onto its left side and stopped.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail rotor drive system.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s):Helicopter 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/28/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/20/2019
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 3866 hours (Total, all aircraft), 239 hours (Total, this make and model), 3740 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 153 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 136 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson
Registration: N3066T
Model/Series: R44 II
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility
Serial Number: 11939
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/26/2019, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1330.1 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-AE1A5
Registered Owner: Executive Air Taxi Corp
Rated Power: 260 hp
Operator: Dakota Helicopters, Inc.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: K46D, 1608 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 23 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1435 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 121°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4300 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 13 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 160°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Fessenden, ND (D54)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Fessenden, ND
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0810 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

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: 47.649167, -99.629167 (est)

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